Amanosi Agbugui founded an annual 5k Victory Walk to raise money to fight Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. Her goal was to give back the community that gave to her support. Agbugui suffered severely from sickle cell, a disease that causes the red blood cells to form the shape of a sickle or crescent moon, causing reduced blood and oxygen flow.
In 2011, she underwent a bone marrow transplant, with a bone marrow match she received from her brother. She is now cured of all symptoms and traces of sickle cell anemia disease. Amanosi is currently in college and looking forward to receiving her bachelor’s degree. Agbuigui Walk has taken place for over three years, successfully raising awareness and funding for research to cure sickle cell disease.
How did you figure out what your passion is?
I’ve always had a passion for helping people, so it just aligned with my life experiences and my desire to give back to my community. Once I started my 5k walks and used the proceeds to support the Sickle Cell Department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), CHOP, it became my way of giving back to the people who gave to me so much.
What has been the most rewarding thing of your journey so far?
The most rewarding part is seeing the impact it has on other people. I did not think my story and my annual walk would reach as many people as it did. Considering my walk is a local event, I thought it would be just local participants but with the power of social media, participants come from out of state. Even those that hear my story overseas have reached out with kind messages. This is what makes this whole journey so rewarding.
What else would you like to accomplish?
I would like to continue to share my story with the world through my 5k walk and write a book in the future. I want to always be involved with the Sickle Cell community, if not in my professional life then definitely in my personal life.
What advice would you give young people starting their career?
I would advise other young people to continue their education or invest in their passions, so they can ultimately enjoy what they do. Also, I would emphasize the importance of building your brand and expanding your networks and connections because both are beneficial to not only beginning your career but on a personal level.
What does being a part of the African Diaspora mean to you?
To me being a part of the African Diaspora is still being able to keep my identity, beliefs, culture and standing firm in my roots no matter where I am in this universe.
Nominated by Doctor Ngozi Onuoha