We are so honoured to shine the spotlight & interview inspiring childrens book Author, Nurse Sickle Cell Warrior Anusjka. Despite her challenges with SC she lives a life that finds the goodness, mercy & the grace of God daily from teaching young kids to show kindness through her book series to being an amazing advocate
I am firstly a disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m a mum of two, a boy and a girl. They are actually 10yrs apart in age. I am also a wife. I’ve been married for 15yrs. I was brought up as a pastors child in Trinidad and Tobago. My childhood was full of love and fun. My mother always tried to wrap me in cotton wool but I have always been stubborn and a free spirit.
Because I grew up with parents who where always positive. Always doing for others. This positivity rubbed off on me. I learnt about compassion from them. When you have Sickle Cell it is sometimes challenging to see goodness, it’s also difficult to think of others when you have so much need yourself. But I try to live a life with Sickle Cell that finds the goodness, mercy and the grace of God daily in our world.
Our minds are powerful and a positive outlook can make a whole lot of a difference.
I self published the first story Sweets, Sweets, Sweets in the Sid the Kindest Kid book series in 2012. I got the idea for the story from a bedtime conversation about sharing. My son AJ and I came up with an outline for the story. I knew that the story did help my son put himself into someone else’s shoes so as to understand how his actions can change a situation for the better. I knew then, that I wanted to do a series about kindness. It took me another 10yrs to write another book though. My second book in the series is called Ben learns to be kind. They are both on sale on Amazon and at www.sidthekindestkid.com
Sickle Cell causes one to have challenges in every aspect of life. One major challenge has been work. I am also a nurse but believe it or not a worker is a worker/ employee in any industry. I have even been paid off to leave jobs due to my ill health. I have been able to overcome every workplace set back by dreaming. I continue to dream of not having to work for anyone. As we get older it becomes more difficult, but I would encourage anyone with Sickle Cell to plan to be their own boss. Plan to have a business where it can work for you. If you start young, with support it is possible.
I think it is very important to have a passion. It’s important to find something you enjoy doing. This helps you to dream. Whether you are dreaming about becoming the next Beyoncé etc. I always knew that God had a plan for me. When I was younger I dreamed of being a vocalist or an actress. Although my health got in the way back then I allowed myself to dream and I still do today.
I think it is important to be vocal about my experiences with sickle cell because it enlightens. For sickle cell to be taken more seriously, for services to get more funding, for black health to be on the agenda we all have a responsibility to talk about sickle cell. It's also important to raise awareness about the disease so that more people are tested and know their genotype. Our aim is to reduce the number of children still being born with sickle cell.
Sickle cell is mainly a black disease. We know that there are disparities in the exposure of black issues in society. Sickle cell affects us economically as well. The poor generally don't have a voice either. The lack of resources impacts on the amount of exposure Sickle Cell issues can access. We need advocates and sponsors in the black community to support the raising of awareness about Sickle Cell.
I am working on building a healthcare business and I have written the third story in the Sid the Kindest Kid book series. I’m looking for a publisher at the moment for my new book. I also hope to publish a Kindness journal and devotional for mums shortly.
I have recently been approved tentatively for a stem cell transplant to cure Sickle Cell. I am looking forward to a life without fear of death or pain. I want to play a part in supporting efforts to reduce the amount of children being born with sickle cell here in the UK, the Caribbean and Africa.