‘I was 10 years old when my little brother passed away in my arms’

Founder, JAYJ Foundation can’t ever forget growing up with three brothers having sickle cell … the reason she hopes to see the disorder ERADICATED one day soon
Valentine Joseph, Founder & President, JAYJ Foundation

Come February 2020, the US-based JAYJ Foundation will flag off a seminal sickle cell awareness campaign and newborn screening program in Haiti. JAYJ is named in memory of her three brothers who died from sickle cell complications. Founder/President Valentine Joseph, 50 is herself with the sickle cell trait and has a grownup daughter with HbSC.

In this interview with SICKLE CELL NEWS, Valentine recalls how, at the age of 10, her last surviving brother passed away in her arms, how she came to have a daughter with sickle cell (HbSC) and her rationale for establishing a charity devoted to helping families with SCD.

Did you take into consideration the genotype of your partner before marriage? Why, Why not?

YES.  I learned about my sickle cell trait after I became engaged. I got married 4 years later.  I left it all in God’s hands.

Age at diagnosis of your daughter with sickle cell.

My daughter Kim was diagnosed with HbSC at birth.

Do you have other family members/friends with sickle cell?

Yes! One of my nephews has SS. Another cousin of mine also had it and died at a very young age.

Long queues at JAYJ event in St. Louis du Sud, Haiti

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For more on the work of JAYJ Foundation, please visit www.jayjfoundation.org

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