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community advocates

Dominique Friend

Community Advocate
Washington, DC, United States

Dominique Friend is a 43 year old living with Sickle Cell Disease.  Her life has truly been interrupted as a result of this dreadful disease. The chief complaint of Sickle Cell is pain. Because of the severe pain, it’s hard for her to function as a normal person.

Dominique was once denied pain relief all night long because a nurse ignored her insistence that the medication pump wasn’t working and thought that she was seeking more medicine because she wanted a high!

After experiencing many more issues like this one, being stigmatized as a drug seeker, often judged by how she looked, made to feel like her pain wasn’t real, and in talking with many other SCD patients made her realize that she was not alone in this struggle.

Dominique wrote Sickle to be an encouragement to other SCD patients as well as a tool to educate the medical community from the patient’s perspective. Learning to advocate for herself has taught her to teach others that they are their own best advocates, because they know their bodies better than anyone. As she began her journey to support other SCD patients, and educating the medical community from the patient’s perspective, Dominique has become more aware of the different protocols that states follow while caring for Sickle Cell patients.

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