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Former Miss Jamaica Universe Dead At 30

Shakira Martin Dead

Sources confirmed that the beauty queen passed away on Wednesday morning at a hospital in South Florida. Shakira was age 30 at the time of her death.
Her mother confirmed her death on Facebook writing, “My darling princess Shakira Aminah passed away at 12:28am from complications from sickle cell blood clots to both lungs.”
“Shakira was a fighter, lived her life in the moment, never became a slave to her disease,” she added. “I will keep you posted with all the arrangements which will be both in Florida and Jamaica her favourite place in the whole world. Thanks for your support, prayers, phone calls, texts.”
Shakira Martin was crowned Miss Jamaica Universe in 2011 where she spoke candidly about her fight with the deadly disease. She was reportedly on life support a few hours before her death as family and friends bid their final goodbye.
“Life was challenging, there were restrictions as far as things that I was able to do, like swimming in the pool for long periods of time or going to the beach,” she said during a 2011 interview with the Observer. “I could always go to the beach, but I couldn’t stay in the water all day because I didn’t want to get myself in crisis.”
She also used the Miss Jamaica Universe platform to help bring more awareness about sickle cell.

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Comment by Bombahdrop on August 11, 2016 at 1:28pm
Dang !
Comment by Incognito on August 8, 2016 at 10:06am

Sad sad story... This disease has been around for quite some time, and afflicts many people.  There's got to be more to help those suffering from Sickle cell.

Comment by dao on August 7, 2016 at 12:36pm
Comment by BIIGMANN on August 6, 2016 at 3:32pm
So sad I had a friend die of sickle cell but I was 20 years old I came home from college looking for him calling him on the phone so we can go hang out so I had to go back to college for football practice his phone was busy I did not know he was in the hospital Lee die at 8:25 from sickle cell anemia my heart and love goes out to her family I know what it feels like to lose a person to that disease Too Short too soon to go
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on August 5, 2016 at 8:55pm

Cee Gee you are welcome

Comment by Amanda G on August 5, 2016 at 6:32pm
RIP to her.
Comment by Cee Gee on August 5, 2016 at 9:35am

@ Mervin, great post and thanks for sharing that information.

Comment by Cee Gee on August 5, 2016 at 9:34am

So young and very beautiful....condolences to her family.

Comment by Jerome S [ Barz ] on August 4, 2016 at 11:59pm
Rip, its SO hard to celebrate life in the misery of someone's passing. I didn't ever claim to know her, but I know about sickle cell. She was damn fine.
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on August 4, 2016 at 11:49pm

What Is Sickle Cell Disease?

The term sickle cell disease (SCD) describes a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.

Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

“Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. SCD is not contagious. A person cannot catch it, like a cold or infection, from someone else.

People who have SCD inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. In all forms of SCD, at least one of the two abnormal genes causes a person’s body to make hemoglobin S. When a person has two hemoglobin S genes, Hemoglobin SS, the disease is called sickle cell anemia. This is the most common and often most severe kind of SCD.

Hemoglobin SC disease and hemoglobin Sβ thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) are two other common forms of SCD.

Some Forms of Sickle Cell Disease

  • Hemoglobin SS
  • Hemoglobin SC
  • Hemoglobin Sβthalassemia
  • Hemoglobin Sβ+ thalassemia
  • Hemoglobin SD
  • Hemoglobin SE


Cells in tissues need a steady supply of oxygen to work well. Normally, hemoglobin in red blood cells takes up oxygen in the lungs and carries it to all the tissues of the body.

Red blood cells that contain normal hemoglobin are disc shaped (like a doughnut without a hole). This shape allows the cells to be flexible so that they can move through large and small blood vessels to deliver oxygen.

Sickle hemoglobin is not like normal hemoglobin. It can form stiff rods within the red cell, changing it into a crescent, or sickle shape.

Sickle-shaped cells are not flexible and can stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood. When this happens, oxygen can’t reach nearby tissues.

Normal Red Cells and Sickle Red Cells" width="375px" height="600px" alt="An image that shows the difference between a normal red blood cell verses a sickle cell with abnormal (sickle) hemoglobin" title=""/>
Figure A shows normal red blood cells flowing freely in a blood vessel. The inset image shows a cross-section of a normal red blood cell with normal hemoglobin. Figure B shows abnormal, sickled red blood cells blocking blood flow in a blood vessel. The inset image shows a cross-section of a sickle cell with abnormal (sickle) hemoglobin forming abnormal stiff rods.

The lack of tissue oxygen can cause attacks of sudden, severe pain, called pain crises. These pain attacks can occur without warning, and a person often needs to go to the hospital for effective treatment.

Most children with SCD are pain free between painful crises, but adolescents and adults may also suffer with chronic ongoing pain.

The red cell sickling and poor oxygen delivery can also cause organ damage. Over a lifetime, SCD can harm a person’s spleen, brain, eyes, lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, penis, joints, bones, or skin.

Sickle cells can’t change shape easily, so they tend to burst apart or hemolyze. Normal red blood cells live about 90 to 120 days, but sickle cells last only 10 to 20 days.

The body is always making new red blood cells to replace the old cells; however, in SCD the body may have trouble keeping up with how fast the cells are being destroyed. Because of this, the number of red blood cells is usually lower than normal. This condition, called anemia, can make a person have less energy.


Sickle cell disease is a life-long illness. The severity of the disease varies widely from person to person.

In high-income countries like the United States, the life expectancy of a person with SCD is now about 40–60 years. In 1973, the average lifespan of a person with SCD in the United States was only 14 years. Advances in the diagnosis and care of SCD have made this improvement possible.

At the present time, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only cure for SCD. Unfortunately, most people with SCD are either too old for a transplant or don’t have a relative who is a good enough genetic match for them to act as a donor. A well-matched donor is needed to have the best chance for a successful transplant.

There are effective treatments that can reduce symptoms and prolong life. Early diagnosis and regular medical care to prevent complications also contribute to improved well-being.

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