Melanie Martinez

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Hello! Thanks for visiting my story. My name is Melanie and I was nine-years-old when I wrote this in the year 2000, three years older than my sister Stephanie. Stephanie is sometimes OK, but other times she is annoying. She copies whatever I'm doing, and when I tell her to stop it, she doesn't, so I hit her and of course I'm the one who gets in trouble. I do like it when we ride bikes together, though, and I love to play hide and go seek. 

I was born in Puerto Rico, and grew up there until two years ago. My mom thought that Stephanie and I would get better medical care in the United States, so we moved to Florida. The hospital I went to there was not very smart, so next we moved to Connecticut. And here I am...ta da! 

I love Puerto Rico. I miss it and I miss my friends. Most of all I miss my grandfather, my uncle and my father. They live in Florida, and now I don't.

You're probably wondering why my sister and I need to have good medical care. Both of us have something called sickle cell anemia, which is the sort of medical problem that causes a lot of pain sometimes, so good hospitals are important. The pain comes from the weird shape of my blood cells. Yours are shaped like donuts, or tomatoes. Mine look more like little bananas, so they can clog up in my veins and cause a traffic jam when I don't drink enough, or when I'm sick, or even when I go out in the sun. When that happens, I really hurt...the pain is definitely the worst part of sickle cell. 

Here I am with my student nurse, Chris!
Here I am with my student nurse, Chris!

If you meet someone with sickle cell, I hope that you'll be very nice. It's hard to have something that makes you feel different. I want to feel like everyone else, and in some ways, I do. For instance, the Back Street Boys drive me crazy. I'll tell you, if I were the principal of my school, I would make sure that everyone was nice to everyone else. In fact I would punish all the kids who were being bad. 

Here I am with my mother. Her name is Carmen, and we are just about to leave the hospital. Now that's good news!

Would you like to learn more about sickle cell? Hop on over to this page, then!


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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004