Ladies and Gents please let me introduce you to a very brave, courageous young lady who I have the pleasure of knowing personally through my time volunteering as a trained councillor and Ambassador for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust… Miss Sapphire Timson.
Sapphire *or Saffie as we like to call her* is a 12 year old young lady who suffers from the most common and severest form of the Haemoglobin disorder of SCD (Sickle Cell Disorder). She has had an incredible amount to deal with in her 12 years and has overcome double pneumonia at the tender age of six, *one of the most common severe crises a Sickle Cell sufferer can have* At age 10, tests showed she had several transient ischemic attacks or mini strokes, due to a lack of blood flow to the brain. On top of this she has also been diagnosed with sleep aponea.
Every year she has to have a Trans Cranial Doppler scan, which monitors the blood flow to her brain in order to prevent a full blown stroke. Now aged 12, Sapphire relies on regular blood transplants for her condition, has to take an array of medications and undergoes a lot of medical tests which requires many hospital visits. Her consultant has discussed the possibility of a Bone Marrow Transplant which would need to be done before she reaches the age of 16. She has two older brothers but none of them are a match.
Despite Sapphire’s clear health and mobility issues, there is nothing holding back this little star. Her infectious positive personality and a drive to help others in similar circumstances as her own have won over many hearts with those who are fortunate to meet her.
Sapphire along with her mother Kafayat Timson *@orignalbabydoll on Twitter* campaigns tirelessly for both the African Caribbean Leukemia and the Croydon Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Support Group, and assists the other volunteers during their recruitment drives to find potential life saving donors as well as raising much needed funds to help the charities continue their life saving work.
SCD affects people of African, Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian Heritage whilst the number of ethnic minority communities currently signed up to the Blood and Bone Marrow Register is less than 1% *to put it frankly that’s a 1 in 100,000 chance of someone finding a match*
It was through her charity work that Sapphire was nominated by Jessica Louise Elliot for a Spirit of London Award under the ‘Young London Hero’ Category of which she won on Monday 10th December at the O2 Area in London *the entire ACLT Family are sooo of you proud Hun*.
*Sapphire being presented with her SOLA award by Doreen Lawrence OBE and Brooke Kinsella MBE.
Young Sapphire is an inspiration to many, including me. She still manages to brave a big smile, even when going through so much at such a young age. Her positive energy and focus she brings to strive academically even though she has missed a lot of school due is nothing short of amazing. It’s fair to say she is one determined girl.
If you are in good health and you think you have it tough in life…Think again! Count yourself fortunate to be blessed with good health for many people take this for granted. Stop whining about things that do not matter and count your blessings, for someone somewhere in the world is always going through a worse situation than you.
If after reading this you feel inspired to do something amazing and make a difference to people like Sapphire by signing up to donate blood and or bone marrow, please check out the ACLT website. Should you still have any questions regarding the process of giving blood and or bone marrow, please do get in touch with either myself @breakinboundrez , fellow ACLT Ambassador @sheenkelly or @acltcharity via twitter. We are all trained councillors for the charity and will be more than happy assist with your queries.
Sapphire Timson is the first person to feature in the Inspirational Section of This Womans Word. Stay tuned for the next installment where another Inspirational Individual will be put in the spot light.
Danielle is a 1st Dan Kickboxing coach / Assistant Instructor under the PKA Kickboxing Association who is also a health, fitness, green beauty, wellness and lifestyle freelance writer / digital journalist. Her passions include encouraging others to lead an active, health conscious lifestyle whilst leading her Breakin' Boundrez team on various fitness related challenges.