San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman and his wife, Akilah Coleman, are opening up about their experiences raising a child with sickle cell disease.
Tevin & Akilah’s Daughter Nazaneen Found Pregnant: ‘I Knew Something Was Up’
On sitting down and PeopleThe family reflected on how they welcomed their twins, Nazaneen and Nezerah, in 2017.
However, he knew “immediately” that “something had happened.” When she was four months old, Nazaneen was diagnosed with sickle cell disease.
“I knew there was something wrong. My son, he knew he wasn’t there but at the same time, with my daughter, we had to go back and do several different tests because he knew something was going on. It was confirmed in about four months.”
What Exactly Is Sickle Cell Disease?
According to his article, the problem described “a group of diseases that we transfer to the red blood cells” that cause the cells to look like a sickle instead of what they normally look like. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, red blood cells like sickle cells can cause various problems in the body.
Sickle cells die early, causing a shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through the small blood vessels, they get stuck and block the blood. This can cause pain and other complications (health problems) such as infections, tuberculosis and stroke.
There are different types of the disease, with the “most severe form” of genetic disease called sickle cell anemia.
More awareness about sickle cell helps drive funding for research, treatment and care. Spread the word on social media and let your friends and family know. For more information, visit our website link in bio #sicklecelluk #sicklecell #knowledge #photooftheday pic.twitter.com/hJEnqkfdKj
– Sickle Cell Society (@SickleCellUK) January 10, 2023
The Colemans Want To ‘Talk About It & Just Raise Awareness’
Tevin and Akilah said that – when they knew they had the sickle cell gene, they didn’t fully understand how the condition would affect their family.
She added that, as her daughter continues to learn more about her disease, she wants to focus on promoting sickle cell education while teaching Nazaneen to be open about her feelings.
He’s only 5 years old, so we haven’t gotten to the point where I’ve explained to him what his body is going through, but I’ve let him know that it’s very important to tell mom all the time—whatever you’re feeling, everything. you’re passing by, tell mom. Let’s talk about it. Don’t be afraid to tell me if you are in pain, so I can help.
Tevin added, “Now that he’s grown and learned and understands that he has sickle cell, I want to talk about it and just make people aware.”
How a Family Raises Nazaneen Through Some of These Behavioral Challenges
In addition, Coleman described the different ways she had to adapt because of her daughter.
First, they don’t let him go outside when it’s too cold, because it’s important for people with sickle cell disease to stay warm.
“For my daughter, she won’t go outside to school if it’s 50 degrees below zero. I have to warm her up, and when she comes home from school, I have to check her fingers and toes. I have to ask her if she’s in any pain or if anything hurts, or if He’s in pain. And he’s been in real pain, pain in his legs and feet.
Being cold increases your chances of having a Sickle Cell crisis, so it’s important to stay as warm as possible. With the weather dropping to -10 around the UK, our area needs to stay warm during these difficult times. #chiko #sicklecellsociety #nhs #cool #season #5 method pic.twitter.com/n9AuPQqDpT
– Sickle Cell Society (@SickleCellUK) January 23, 2023
However, they try to have fun by “hiding many things [they] treat him like you take care of yourself.”
“I’ll just say, ‘Okay, we’re going to have a spa day.’ I’m going to massage her legs and do a mani-pedi, kind of massage her feet and get the water going because the one thing I don’t want to do is scare her too much.”
Akilah added, “I want him to know what he feels, but I also want to protect him… I want him to be able to say what he feels without fear.”
As for Tevin, he feels that a big part of their journey has been centered on keeping the positivity rollin’.
“Whenever my son has a problem or is hospitalized afterwards, we try to encourage him and keep him happy. We do this by giving him a party when he comes back, giving him a cake, giving him toys, so that he can smile.”
Shout out to the Coleman family as they continue to wade through the water and let them know about their daughter’s condition.