Kamara and Danny Warner were one unique couple. He was a sickle cell warrior Kamara did not know she had the Sickle Cell Trait when she married Danny. She was 7 years older.. They went on to produce six children, among them three sickle cell warriors.
How old were you when you got married?
I was a single mom with three kids at the time I met Danny. He was 21 and I was 28. I was aware that my husband had sickle cell disease, but was unaware of myself having the C trait. There was never a thought that the kids could have the disease.
Age at diagnosis of your children with sickle cell
All 3 girls were diagnosed at birth. Their genotype is SC. They are now 15, 11, and 6 years old.
When she was 10, Dannah, the eldest of the three with SCD, was placed on a ventilator. She had acute chest and it was bad. It was a very scary thing to see my child fighting for her life.
How do friends and family members react when they discover that you have not one but 3 kids with the same inherited health challenge?
My friends and family are very supportive, some questioned why I continued to have children, but always remained supportive. I let them know that we were unaware that I carried the trait.
Why did you continue to have children after that first or second diagnosis with SCD?
I’ll be honest, my oldest daughter was very seldom sick as a baby and as a child. Her first major event was at 10 years old.
Have you ever felt stigmatized for having children with sickle cell?
For having multiple children with sickle cell, Yes.
How do you cope with the challenges of daily life raising three children with SCD?
It is not an easy task, but with the support of family and friends we have way more good days than bad. As a mom of 8, it can be a juggling act at times, but we are making it work.
Has sickle cell affected your outlook on life?
Sickle Cell continues to show me the strength that my children have. We don’t take things for granted!
Have you ever blamed yourself for giving birth to children with SCD?
I’ve never blamed myself, but I’ve questioned my actions.
What do you think about sickle cell carriers getting married (to sickle cell carriers) if they knew of the risks to their offspring?
Honestly, I would not suggest it. I understand that people will make their own choices so in that I’d say just understand you have to be prepared for a lot of sacrifices. They don’t deserve any sort of resentment so you really have to think about the choice that you make.
What advice would you give to families raising one child or more with sickle cell?
Try to develop a village. It’s not always family, people of blood relation, but people who care. Be your child’s biggest advocate and fan! There will be some days when you won’t know how you will make it through, but you will, don’t give up. Be there for your child/children, they need you! Don’t beat yourself up, you were chosen to be the mother so you have what’s needed to do the job. Enjoy time with one another and never take that time for granted!