By Patrice Rivers
Monique Favors was born on June 1, 1980 in Miami Beach, FL. A true warrior was birthed into this world that day. Early on in childhood, life began teaching Monique lessons that would mold the woman she is today. Her belief is that at birth, God gave her the gift of writing. He knew her words would be powerful from all the life experiences she would endure throughout her years on this Earth. She has battled with a hereditary chronic illness that she was diagnosed with at the age of 3. Although given a death sentence many times by doctors, she is still standing and being used by God in a mighty way. She is a mother of three, a spoken word artist, prophetic dancer, mentor, inspirational speaker, and advocate. Monique has a strong and pure heart for the broken. She is an advocate against sexual abuse, especially against children. Being a victim herself, she sought out personal healing and then went into mentoring sexually abused teen girls through a Christian nonprofit organization called B.L.O.O.M. (Beautiful Ladies Overcoming Obstacles as More than Conquerors.) Monique also started an online marriage ministry called Pure Heart for Marriage. God gave her this vision in the process of teaching her how to become a better wife in the midst of the decline of her own marriage. God is using everything in her past to help her speak healing into current and future marriages. She has such an extreme passion for God’s will for marriage. Just when you ask, what more could Monique do? A lot more. Monique continued on the journey of literally using her pain for a purpose. She Co-Founded a nonprofit called Advancing Sickle Cell Advocacy Project. Inc (A.S.A.P.) and also sits on the board. She not only advocates, educates, and brings awareness to sickle cell disease, but also through her personal experience; she is not only the voice, she is also the face of sickle cell. God has given Monique great purpose in her life. Her words and her voice are her greatest power, so she embraces it with humbleness and humility.
PATRICE: First I want to congratulate you on publishing your book “Licensed To Carry: Soaring After The Storm.” How long did it take for you to write your journey living with Sickle Cell?
MONIQUE FAVORS: Thank you so much! It actually only took me a week to write the book. However, the preparation and breaking down the chapters took a month before I actually began writing.
PATRICE: In the book you talked about your grandmother praying over you when you were in pain. It’s good to have a support system in your corner when you are going through this. What do you like most about your prayers? How did they shift your mind and heart to have a better outcome living with SCD?
MONIQUE: What I like the most about prayer is I feel connected to God. Through prayer I was able to shift my mind onto God instead of the pain. It gave me hope!
PATRICE: You were diagnosed with SCD at the age of three. As you got older, did your mother begin educating you on what the disease is at an early age? What were your first responses towards it?
MONIQUE: My mom was educating herself on how to be proactive instead of reactive to the disease. She honestly tried to allow me to live a normal life. I don’t recall her focusing on my illness or the limitations that came with them. I learned fairly quickly on my own what my triggers were.
PATRICE: One of the main symptoms of having SCD is pain. That is the worst pain ever, and people living with the disease are constantly hospitalized. When you first know that you are in pain, what do you do? Is there some form of remedy you use to ease the pain?
MONIQUE: Honestly, when I am in pain there is no special remedy for me. I just let it run its course. I am not a fan of being hospitalized or using narcotics. Rest, hydration, and my heating pad are my go-to methods of dealing with the pain.
PATRICE: Because a lot of the school systems were not properly educated on SCD, what did teachers and other superiors do to learn more about the disease for themselves? Were you constantly teased about it?
MONIQUE: Back when I was in school, sickle cell wasn’t something relevant enough for educators to try to learn about. I wasn’t teased about sickle cell itself, but I was teased about the jaundice of my eyes.
PATRICE: Your son has SCD as well. How is he handling it? Pain? Hospitalization? What are you teaching him to continue to be a strong warrior?
MONIQUE: My son hasn’t grasped the reality of living with sickle cell. It is a constant battle to get him to do the right things so he can live his healthiest life as a warrior. Although he seems to have more pain episodes in his teen years he still is not in and out of the hospital. I am a firm believer that home treatment is better.
PATRICE: It’s crazy how a lot of people, especially adults, think that SCD is contagious; as if you can catch the disease just by touching them. That’s why I try to stress to people that they need to be educated on what SCD really is before assuming what it is. As you got older, did you talk to communities about your personal testimony and the disease itself?
MONIQUE: I have been talking and educating about sickle cell since Elementary days. My first job was as a secretary for a sickle cell nonprofit. Years later I didn’t know I would be starting one. It’s like God was preparing me all along.
PATRICE: Your gift was given by God so that you can share your story and to teach others. How long have you been a motivational speaker and a writer?
MONIQUE: I have been writing since I was a little girl. It was always in me. Writing and poetry are my passion. I didn’t start speaking until I began dancing in my early 20’s. I used to share my story before or after I danced and I have been doing it ever since.
PATRICE: Are you planning to write another book soon? Tell us about the book signing event for the book you just released.
MONIQUE: Yes, I am actually doing 2 books before this summer. I have a warrior prayer journal that goes with my current book and the 2nd part of my first book. Some of the topics discussed in the 1st book were very triggering and hard to write through. Talking about it is easy, but seeing it in black and white was taking me back to places I thought I healed from through therapy. So, there will be a 2nd part to end out that sickle cell series.
PATRICE: How can readers connect with you?