Name: Jenica Leah
Likes: Salted popcorn
Dislikes: Corners and enclosed spaces
Secret Confession: I go to the cinemas to buy popcorn and leave… without watching a movie.
So, here’s the thing, I feel like people only know Jenica Leah from blog posts; which usually only focus on one particular subject. Or from interviews and media features; which are also somewhat restrictive. Since this is the case, this month I’m shining the light on some areas of Jenica Leah that many may not already know.
So here goes… Spotlight’s on me!
Born with sickle cell anaemia SS, Jenica had her first crisis at just 9 months old. As a child and throughout her adolescent years, she struggled living with sickle cell as she didn’t really understand it, nor had she accepted it, so it was easier to just try and ignore. This was ultimately her reason for publishing her children’s book My Friend Jen.
Jenica had a successful career as a young model and went on to become a part qualified accountant; despite experiencing many complications caused by sickle cell which resulted in her having a lot of time off from secondary school, college and countless absences from work. After her studies Jenica decided to take a different career path that would give her more flexibility to manage her health.
“I won’t continue to be unwell as a result of working for someone else”
Jenica is now a freelance coordinator for an international fashion show organiser and has also recently started her own publishing company. She manages her sickle cell by following a blood type diet, taking the time to listen to her body, being honest and truthful to herself and doing things that make her happy.
“Sadness and bad vibes are bad for your health!”
With her health under control and a flexible career, Jenica has been able to dedicate most of her spare time to being an ambassador for sickle cell. She has featured on television, radio, and a number of online platforms to create more awareness of sickle cell. She also now has a book donation program and has travelled to Gambia and Nigeria to hold awareness events and donate her children’s books to organisations that may have otherwise not been able to buy them for their communities. Jenica hopes that through her many ways of speaking out and creating more awareness of sickle cell, there will be more research done and better outcomes for those living with the condition.