Sickle Cell Warriors


 Breaking News
  • VOICE Crisis Alert App VOICE Crisis Alert App The VOICE Crisis Alert app is the first national app created for patients and families with sickle cell disease. The app stores all its data locally...
  • World Sickle Cell Day 2018 Hello Warrior Family! Don’t forget, today, Tuesday June 19th is World Sickle Cell Day. This was specially designated by the World Health Organization in 2009 to improve the education, research, and...
  • SCD Adult Support Groups in Southern California California Warriors, great news! Cayenne Wellness is now hosting monthly support group meetings in Fresno, San Diego, Los Angles, Loma Linda, and Antelope Valley. You get to meet others with...
  • Tracing sickle cell back to one child, 7,300 years ago Tracing sickle cell back to one child, 7,300 years ago Check out this amazing article by Nalina Eggert of BBC News for a journey of SCD from 7,300 years ago.  The...
  • Meet Brittany: Caregiver, poet, and writer This week’s warrior in the spotlight is Brittany Hightower.  Brittany is a caregiver who is beautiful, intelligent, and passionate about poetry. And oh yeah, she has sickle cell. How old...

Meet Brandon: Truck Driver, Sickle Cell Warrior

This spotlight interview focuses on Brandon Gray, a truck driver living in Louisiana.

Hi Brandon. So nice to meet you. How old were you when you found out you had sickle cell? My mother found out I had sickle cell when I was 2. I always knew I was different, and finally figured out why when I was around six or seven.

How did your childhood and your parents influence you in your choice of career? My mother was the greatest influence. She always told me that sickle cell disease was not a reason to limit myself  and to always chase my dreams.

What do you do? What kind of education or training does one need to have your job? I’m a truck driver. Usually you have to enroll in a truck driving school and complete the necessary on-the-road hours with your instructor. The company that hires you often puts you through the program, although sometimes you might have to pay upfront out of pocket. I work between 9 and 12 hours a day; 6 days a week–but I’m home every night.

How do your coworkers treat you knowing that you have sickle cell? Fortunately for me, my coworkers have been very understanding. I think it’s because of living in the South, there are more African-Americans out here, and so more people have some inkling of the impact of sickle cell. My boss is pretty understanding and she works with me and my specific scheduling needs. My coworkers also pitch in, covering me if I’m home sick.

Do you have sickle cell pain while driving or on the job? During winter, I have joint pain a few times a week. However, luckily for me I have not had serious pain while driving. My typical day starts around midnight. I’m in and out of refineries picking up gas to be delivered to different gas stations in the New Orleans area and parts of Mississippi. I don’t  take pain meds while driving–if I’m feeling bad usually I just won’t come in.  I do feel like I must work as hard as my co-works do to show them that I am capable of doing job.

How were you able to manage sickle cell and school? Luckily for me, my siblings were very helpful and supportive. They helped me stay on track with classes whenever I did miss school.

It’s a good thing that you had such a great, supportive family! So what are some of your best tips to survive sickle cell on a regular basis? It’s simple. Drink plenty of water, get lots of rest and eat right.

Share your medication regimen with us. The only med I take daily is Folic acid. For minor pains like joint pain I take Advil,  but for more serious pain I take Vicodin.

What are your sources of inspiration when you reach obstacles in your life? Prayer and Family.

Looking back at the 14 year old version of yourself, what would you tell him if you could? To enjoy being 14 and not to be so shy.

Thank you Brandon, for sharing your life and story with us. Good luck in all your future endeavors!


About Author

Sickle Cell Warrior

Sickle Cell Warrior

Tosin is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sickle cell. Although sickle cell is a subject often taboo in the communities this condition is most prevalent, Tosin's message is that sickle cell is not something to be ashamed of and you can live a rich and fulfilling life with sickle cell. Sickle cell warriors are the most amazing people in the world, with a great fortitude for compassion, willpower and strength.

Related Articles


  1. Renzal
    Renzal June 17, 10:53

    I have sickle cell anemia and I have always wanted to be a truck driver but people tell me that I wont be able to do to the fact that I have sickle cell.

  2. A-1 Freight System
    A-1 Freight System June 07, 18:15

    This is one great interview! It is really never a joke to be a truck driver. The risks are immeasurable. But this job is very satisfying and all worth it.

Write a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Support awareness & education for SCD

WordPress › Error

Error! Donation amount must be a numeric value.