My name is Angela and I have Hemoglobin SC Disease (Hgb SC), a type of sickle cell disease.  It is usually a milder type of sickle cell than sickle cell anemia (Hgb SS). People with Hgb SC have 1 sickle cell gene and 1 hemoglobin C gene (another type of abnormal hemoglobin).

I submitted a picture of my character the “CILLY CELL” instead of me. This disease has caused me so much unbelievable pain and grief.  I am blessed to have three children. When I was pregnant with my second child, I developed double pneumonia. With my third child, I developed pneumonia and pleurisy.

Over 12 years ago, I came home to Georgia to get better health care as I was living in a small town in South Carolina and ended up separated from my ex-husband, leaving my three little children behind.

I had a section 8 voucher but I lost it after I arrived in Atlanta.  Losing section 8 started me on the path of being homeless in my own hometown. I lived with associates for a while and got my four year daughter from my ex-husband  (my only girl). That associate put us out and we were forced into a shelter.  Each day in the shelter, we had to be out every morning after chores and couldn’t come back until 4pm.

Sometimes me and my baby walked for hours eating with monopoly coupons from McDonald’s. Those walks often landed me in the hospital looking for a babysitter. I hated leaving her with anybody.  At one point, I got locked up for an old ticket that I didn’t know I had because it didn’t show up on my South Carolina license.

I had just came out of the hospital and never made it to pick up my baby. I was devastated when her father came and picked her up and left me in jail. I was still his sick wife. I was then made to have supervised visits with my children for over one and one-half years and was not reunited with them for another two years.

In the summer of 2004, I finally had an apartment and my children were back where they belonged — with their mother. I started a free after school program called ‘CLUB CAYA’ or Come As You Are.  I did this so I could watch my children and the rest of the children in the neighborhood.  But my health failed me again when an IV infiltrated in my foot and caused me to be on a walker for a while. I still have the scar.

While I was apart from my children, I underwent kidney cancer surgery and the doctors took my right kidney.  A little over 14 months later, I had to undergo a full hysterectomy at 31 years old. I ended up in ICU and almost lost my other kidney and died.

In the summer of 2009, my children and I became homeless again and we remained that way until the winter of 2011. We are in a home now that I can afford with my check. While I was homeless, I created the Cilly Cell character whom I want to give hope to “SICKLERS” worldwide just like the pink ribbon did for breast cancer.

When you see Cilly Cell, I want you to remember Sickle Cell Disease Patients that are suffering in pain everyday. Cilly Cell could be a mascot that can go to hospitals, turn into a stuffed animal or go on a cup.  With the money I could raise with Cilly Cell, I could help patients with rent and other stresses, give massages, hairdos and just unlimited support in every area.


10 thoughts on “Homeless Mom With Hemoglobin Sickle Cell Disease Bounces Back and Creates “Cilly Cell” Project”

  1. Tanya says:

    My name is Tanya, and not only am I a “sickler” with Sickle SC disease, just like Ms. Angie, but I also consider her a good friend. It just HAS to be made known to all, what kind of disease we suffer with, and what could happen without knowledge and awareness. I can put myself into many of the same scenarios as Angela, and unfortunately, I also experienced some homelessness after relocating to Atlanta from New Jersey. It’s very difficult to keep a job/career, home, benefits, vehicle, etc. when you are in and out of the dr.’s offices & hospitals fighting for your life, let alone your family! Fortunately, Angela is paving the way for stories to be told and for patients and their families to be helped…and believe me, help is DEFINITELY needed in MULTIPLE capacities! Love Ya’ Ang!

  2. Amazing story! Thank you for sharing and God bless you!

  3. Tashika says:

    My name is Tashika and I live in the state of NJ. I have Sickle Cell (Hemoglobin SS), the sever case, and I have-like Angie and many others nationwide, gone through many trials and tribulations due to my illness. I wholly support the Cilly-Cell idea and hope that it gives people the realization that more needs to be done. Though something so simple as a character can give hope, we need to raise awareness amongst ourselves and others so that we can raise funds to help to cure this illness and provide more assistance for people out there who need it (whether financially, socially, emotionally, or psychologically). There is too much to document in such little time and space exactly how much someone like myself experiences on a day to day basis dealing with a chronic condition like Sickle Cell. Nonetheless, I AM A SURVIVOR AND I PRAY that my fellow survivors continue to keep FAITH, HOPE, and RESILIENCE! <3 <3 <3

  4. Marcus says:

    This is a good story. It illustrates the physical as well as mental, economic, and family burden that sickle cell could have on a person. Continue raising awareness! This will help many with sickle cell gain the knowledge and access resources that could make a difference in improving their lives.

  5. Lenita Nelson says:

    I feel u r an inspiration for other ppl to know they can overcome anything if they just have the drive n determination n put their faith in God! #Go Sickle Warrior!

  6. Cody Turner says:

    Wow, what a story! It’s amazing to think you survived SCD alone, but Cancer, homelessness, and a list of extra trials. I encourage you to continue in your endeavors. We need ALL the help wert can get. Options are limited 4 us in general, & even more so for adult SCD patients. Many don’t expect us to live beyond 40 & alot of the time, I’ve experienced this to have dim truths. However, b/c of my advocacy more & more older “sicklers” have found me and are speaking out. I’m barely 28 and have probably seen more than 2dozen under 30 to leave this world to the battle wn SCD, most were actually under 25.
    We desperately need a universal symbol like that of the pink ribbon. I love the idea of it being a ‘ SICKLE’ Shaped character. If I’m still current, I don’t believe we even have a national color for a ribbon. I have no idea why that is, some speculate b/c everyone wants to be the 1st put have it 2 be “their” symbol, “their” idea. We have to put aside all of that & agree. I am working on my 3rd year as a professional advocate w/ a nonprofit, meaning we have a logo, a symbol. I personally would vote 4 yours, or any of which I could clearly see the msg. I love how you incorporated the shape. Also I love your ideas, we have already been in contact by email & I look forward to one day meeting you & aiding you in advocacy in any way I can! I hope to utilize you one day, your story is very uniQue. Continue sharing it, maybe there will be a book to come from out of all this!! -QCT

  7. Bernette says:

    Hello all my name is Bernette. I am a mother of a 15 years sickle cell warrior. I am amazed at Angela’s strength and story. I can relate to this story more ways than one. I know what its like to be jobless,homeless,child taken from you, relocating and friends turning their backs on you. Living with an illness is not only a day to day struggle its a day to day battle of staying alive.It takes a village to change society. I am a whole supporter of the “CILLY CELL PROJECT”. I started a business once I was laid off from my job of 6 years. I lost it all. My home, car, job and husband(divorcee) within the same year along with taken ill myself. It was the grace of GOD and FAITH that kept me. Quin and I relocated to the Florida area(still a struggle) where things were different oppose to living in MISSISSIPPI. My business was created to be a voice,break the silence and advocate for SICKLE CELL DISEASE. B’s Happiness is the name of my business. Why I chose the name is because stepping out on faith doing something I love and is dear to my heart brought me pure happiness. My business is a high-end resale boutique,which consists of quality items for low prices. I host events,serve as a vendor and advocate. Each event the community is educated about sickle cell. I add a fashion show to each event to grasp people attention in wanting to get educated about sickle cell. Just as Angela I want to make a difference in our communities. Whether you are near or far….BE A VOICE and help BREAK THE SILENCE….Please stop by and like my business page.. I appreciate your support! Thanks in ADVANCE…

  8. Bernette says:…..Here is the link to my page.. I have shared Angela’s story and you are free to post events,stories and pictures to my page….MUCH LOVE TO ALL MY SICKLE CELL WARRIORS….

  9. Catrina says:

    You are blessed an I am glad you have your kids back. Stay strong and keep fighting sickle cell will be out there like cancer is one day

  10. God Bless you Catrina. I’m glad you are a part of the team.

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