It has been over 16 years since we all heard the urban rhythm of “Chasing Waterfalls”. Before the glam and the glitz of the music business, former TLC member, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins struggled with sickle cell anemia, a chronic illness and an incurable blood disorder that leaves people exhausted and in constant pain. After being told at the tender age of 7 that she wouldn’t live pass the age of 30 or be able to have children, Watkins never accepted it as her reality.
Nearly 5 years ago, T-Boz began experiencing frequent headaches and discovered that she had a non-cancerous brain tumor. Due to her sickle cell anemia, her doctor made it clear that surgery would be too dangerous and radiation would affect her career & quality of life.
With a strong step out on faith, Watkins found a surgeon to successfully remove her tumor, proving her relentless ability to defeat all odds. Check out her Human Factor feature on CNN’s blog, The Chart. Below is a snippet of what she personally wrote about her experience and what she has learned about overcoming fear:
I don’t believe in changing anything because I think everything happens for a reason. If I didn’t have bad things happen, I wouldn’t know the good things. I’m wiser now. With age comes wisdom and I’m looking forward to becoming wiser. I’m not one of those people who is ashamed to say how old I am – I’m 41 – because other people told me I wasn’t even supposed to be alive at this age. It made me who I am and I’m happy with me and I’m just glad I learned from my mistakes. [Source]
You can catch T-Boz’ and other interviews on Sanjay Gupta M.D. on Saturdays & Sundays 7:30am EST on CNN.