Changemaker Profile


I was the infant who brought tears to my parents’ faces when the midwives and nurses broke the news “June has been diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia; I am sorry.” I became the result of sleepless nights, countless trips to hospital, missed school days, midnight ambulance call outs, an expensive cost to the health care system, a social inconvenience stemming from the unpredictability of my disease.

But I allow myself to be helped, loved and saved. My loved ones are an essential part of me getting through this disease and in having a stable mental health. I get support from counselling, journaling, art, writing and travelling.

Your red blood cells are round and mine are shaped like sickles. My name is June and I was diagnosed with sickle cell, a genetic blood disorder that affects the red blood cells. I am one of the 17.

Artist Profile

Rachel Sawyer

Rachel is a Freelance Illustrator producing digital artworks on Photoshop and Illustrator. Her style leans towards realism, with a focus on texture and light. She enjoys illustrating works that combine social topics including environmental activism and diversity, with elements of the surreal.

This campaign isn’t just about us – it’s about you. If you live with or care for someone with a rare disease, share your experience on social media using the hashtag #IAmNumber17.

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