My Red cells are sickle shaped.
Genetically imperfect, but I see perfection in my entire being.

June 2, 2020

The works of June Okochi

Voices of Pain

Voices of Pain is a multi-track montage of individuals’ reports living with or affected by sickle cell.

This UK based audio-documentary is a heartfelt and insightful production which captures the featured individuals’ first hand experiences and themes of pain, suffering, trauma but more importantly, resilience, hope and dreams that has enabled them deal with their pain & suffering.

The c...

February 4, 2020

I often find many young sickle warriors, even adults, and parents of children with sickle cell struggle to find ways to cope with travel specifically with long haul flights. Well, guess what, I did too especially when I discovered my love for travel.

I have also had a number of friends and young people I mentor living with sickle cell contacting me for travel advice from time to time.

So I thought I would do a little c...

September 9, 2019

So recently I was very sick. I developed these agonizing headaches that just wouldn’t go away. No matter what I did, they stayed. I have a history of migraines so I know what they are like. I have had them for many years as a result of the side effects of my medication. They come once a month, I stay in a dark room, get rid of anything with a screen or light and sleep it off. But these weren’t migraines. They were not going an...

June 23, 2019

A year ago I was invited to speak to 1st year medical students at the Bloomsbury Campus about sickle cell.

Few weeks ago, UCL invited me as a visitor again to speak to 2nd year students at the Whittington Campus. (Hmm I have being promoted from 1st to 2nd years 😄) I recall the awkward silence when I entered the room. It was so awkward and I could tell they were all unsure about how this will go down.

I smiled at them, put my g...

June 19, 2019

I love telling stories. I write about my experiences of life, art, travel, culture, poetry. I even journal about living with my genetic condition.

But one day I decided it would be great to express in a different kind way. I wanted to tell mine and other’s stories of living with our genetic condition through visual imagery.

I wanted to use photography as an art form to express the different motions that come with this conditio...

April 2, 2019

It all started with Dr Kaya, consultant hematologist writing a draft abstract following the completion of the mentoring evaluation report developed last year by my colleagues and I.

The initial report showed that the children and young people we mentored had a general reduction in using hospital  services and infact had less sickle crisis during the period of mentoring. Dr Kaya supported us with the clinical data for the e...

March 16, 2019

I put my iPhone on airplane mode, alarm set for 6.15, computers out of sight, cup of camomile tea done, lights out. 

It was probably a hundred and fifty seconds later since my head finally took its lay to rest on what has become a mountain of pillows to help my sleep apnea, spooned by ‘nkem’, his hand strung across my torso holding tight as if he was scared of letting me go even in sleep. I smiled. It was endearing. I lift his...

December 30, 2018

In August 2017, the NHS commissioned myself and 2 other amazing humans I work with (through the national charity) to design and develop a model of care that is primarily focused on mentoring children and young people (C&YP) between the ages of 10-24 living with sickle cell. It was commissioned specifically in the boroughs of City of London and Hackney.

For someone who thrives on change, my life choices and goals have been pr...

August 14, 2018

12th April 2018

This evening I was interviewed by a historian for 2hrs. We met at the meeting room of the history department at UCL off Warren Street.

She is currently doing her doctorate at UCL. Her work is funded by the Wellcome Trust and UCL specifically around research using oral history methods in ‘Preserving the History of Sickle Cell in Britain dating to the 1950s’. 

People such as myself will tell their stories. Mine dati...

March 19, 2018

On Wednesday, 29th March, I had the last of 4 FREE sessions of reflexology treatments carried out successively over an 8 week period. The sessions were offered to me by Denise, my lovely and very expert reflexologist. She is expert and I will tell you why shortly. 

In very simple terms, reflexology is the therapy of the feet. 

According to the Association of Reflexologists, Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health th...

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