When doctors refused to remove the tumor in her brain because of sickle-cell related complications, Grammy-winning artist Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins did everything in her power to beat the odds.
Five years later, the TLC alum is happy to be able to share her story of survival with others, and to lend her voice to causes like Be The Match to help others with sickle-cell, leukemia, and other diseases who need bone marrow and/or umbilical cord transplants. But most of all, Watkins is proud that she’s still here for her 10-year-old daughter, Chase Rolison.
“I’ve been through a lot with my sickle cell, but my recovery from the brain tumor was THE hardest thing,” Watkins tells CNN. “I’m proud of myself for seeing this through and to be here for my daughter. You have to make a commitment to yourself and that was important for me.”
Despite the many years she’s spent battling diseases (Watkins was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia at age 7), T-Boz says that she’s not one to live her life with regrets; wishing that things had gone differently.
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,” says Tionne. “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.”
For more on T-Boz’s recovery and her relationship with Be The Match, click here.