027: A Sickle Cell Story – W/Iris Mafor Fobanjong

In honor of Sickle Cell Awareness month, which is September, we will be shedding more light on sickle cell based on the personal experience of a sickle cell survivor – Iris Mafor Fobanjong. Iris, 43 years old, was born in Cameroon and currently resides in the Tampa Bay area, Florida. She works as an Emergency Room Psychiatric Nurse and she is convinced that there is nothing better than giving to others what she has received from the healthcare industry.

Among her many blessings are her two girls, Georis (17 years old) and Makayla (10 years old), who have both been her topmost cheerleaders untiringly spurring her on. Everyone has a story to tell with an entirely unique theme associated with it. If you ask Iris, her story can never have an introduction nor a conclusion without delving into the question of how life has been, living with sickle cell.


Iris’s parents had five children (2 boys and 3 girls) and two out of these five children were born with sickle cell. Her sister, Honorine, passed onto glory at the tender age of 8, from complications that stemmed from sickle cell disease and Iris is here to share the story of her life growing up with sickle cell. Email: irismafor@yahoo.com – please don’t forget to send an email. 

[00:01 – 08:37]Opening Segment

  • Introduction
  • Explanation Of What Sickle Cell Is

[08:37 – 18:27] Mafor Journey With Sickle Cell

  • Her personal journey so far
  • Explaining how she came to know she has sickle cell
  • Getting to know your genotype
  • Detail explanation of what genotype is
  • Educating yourself about the disease
  • The timeline pressure from family

[18:27 – 30:30] Implications of Having Sickle Cell

  • Mafor went through hip replacement surgery
  • Her childhood experience with sickle cell in Cameroun
  • Going to boarding school as a sickle cell patient
  • Mafor’s emotional experience with healthcare back in Cameroun
  • The stigma around being black and having a sickle cell in America
  • The Tragic Blood Transfusion experience back in Cameroun

[30:30 – 53:58] Adulthood & Sickle Cell

  • Knowing your triggers
  • People’s opinion about being a Sickle Cell patient
  • The insensitivity of some Africans
  • Mafor’s Dating & Marriage Journey
  • Her experience with childbirth
  • How her children are affected by her health situation

[53:58 – 1:01:51] Final Words

  • Our Community need to be sensitive 
  • Mafor gives health advice for sickle cell patients
  • Anyoh share’s deep words with the African Community
  • Facing some of the stereotypes
  • Mafor shares deep motivation about life in general aand sends regards
  • Anyoh’s final words

Tweetable Quotes:

“Life will keep changing and as life changes, you have to go with the flow. I am not letting sickle cell define me and you must not allow your health status to define you.” – Iris Mafor Fobanjong

“People go through a lot of pain in life and they deal with it differently so we need to be sensitive and empathetic with people in our community.” – Anyoh Fombad

“Don’t let anyone label you because they can be label too.” – Iris Mafor Fobanjong

“There is a lot more to live for than your health struggles. You have life and loving people around you so enjoy every moment and don’t let your health struggles stop you.” – Iris Mafor Fobanjong

Find Specific Data & Some Information shared on this episode in this link with references: <References>

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You can connect with Anyoh on Facebook (@anyohf), Instagram (@anyohfombad), and Twitter (@anyohfombad).

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