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'We got signals from God' — this couple married even though they're both AS

This is the story of a love that defied all odds—getting married when you are both AS.

Seyi and Abisola Shof [voyagebaltimore]

For the couple, there had always been a friendship between them. When he first asked her out, she agreed because they had gotten so close to each other, he was her best friend, and she could not imagine her life without him. “We were on the same wavelength; he understood me, and I understood him,” she said during an interview with Pulse Nigeria.

Their perfect relationship came crashing down when she went to confirm her genotype. She initially thought she was AA, but several tests revealed that she was AS. This means they both have the sickle gene, and there’s a 25% chance they give birth to a child with sickle cell.

Abisola said, "I went to Google and checked for a cure for sickle cell. There was no cure except a bone marrow transfer after the child had suffered in childhood."

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But they didn’t give up. They discovered a way to have children who would not have sickle cell anaemia.

The way to prevent giving birth to sickle cell children is through IVF with PGD testing. They conceive through IVF and test the foetus to see the child's genotype when the egg is fertilised.

The Shofs had a solution, but the main trouble was convincing Seyi's parents. He said, “It’s not just parents, but in a lot of churches, you have to bring your test results to make sure you both are not AS to avoid problems."

Seyi's family was hell-bent on him not getting married to Abisola. "It was like a two-year process of deciding whether we were going to get married or not. I proposed on January 11, 2021, and we got married in April 2013. We brought the solutions to our parents, but our parents were like, 'Why do you have to go through all that stress? There are many fish in the sea,' but I said that was the fish that I wanted.

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"My dad came to New York from Lagos to convince me not to marry her. Then after that, my mom and sisters came to the city. My mother said God had told her that I shouldn’t marry her.

"I prayed a lot. I told my pastor, and he gave great advice. He said we should fast from each other for 40 days. He asked us to seek the face of God. At the end of it, God gave me Bible verses that convinced me.

"The battle was to convince my parents, and it strained the relationship between me and my parents and siblings."

Abisola advises, "If you are convinced that he or she is the right person for you, then it’s worth fighting for. There are many ways to prevent a child from having SS, but it’s not an easy thing."

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They eventually got married and had two beautiful kids. The Shofs are proof that love does conquer all, even when obstacles exist.

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