Foundation decorates Laycon with global advocate ambassador
The Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria has decorated Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) Season 5 winner Olamilekan Moshood Agbeleshe, better known as Laycon, with its global advocate ambassador for people living with the disease.
Presenting the award, the Founder/Chairman of the non-governmental and non–profit making organization, which is dedicated to the control and proper care of people with sickle cell disorder in Nigeria, Prof. Olu Akinyanju, congratulated the music star and welcomed him to the ‘Sickle Cell Champions Squad.’
“We now have the sickle cell champions squad, we have a 77 year old doctor in Calabar and many other people, who are very active and have survived. The days of thinking that once you have sickle cell, you are finished are gone,” he said
Congratulating the Fierce crooner and commenting on his choice, the National Director/Chief Executive Officer of Foundation, Dr Annette Akinsete said Laycon would help in the fight against stigma and discrimination of people living with the disorder.
“Nigeria has the highest blood group of sickle cell in the world; we want to speak up and let the world hear us. We have to be in the forefront of the fight to know that sickle cell is a condition we can live with as it is treatable and manageable and now has a cure. Here in Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, we have set up a bone marrow centre, which is a cure for sickle Cell.”
“With Laycon as Global Advocate, we want to speak for people living with the disease because advocacy is still so silent. So, we want people to talk more about it; stop the stigma and discrimination that we face in the community and also tell them that you may have sickle cell and be anything you want to be,” Dr Annette said.
In his response, the music star thanked the foundation for the privilege to visit, adding that he learnt so much during the visit.
“I feel very happy for this award, in my visit here, I understand I didn’t know a lot as I thought I knew about sickle cell, now I know more and it’s a whole lot, I really thank them for giving me the privilege to come to this place.”
“It is wrong when people stigmatise those living with sickle cell; we say no to that. Those living with sickle cell disorder should know that it is not the end of life; you can achieve anything you want as long as you believe.
“I am very glad to be here, we are all icons. The truth is that every situation we find ourselves, we should always understand it is for us to prove ourselves for who we are to the world. You should never let anything that happens to you weigh you down,” he added.