Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic disorder that causes my red blood cells to form “sickles”, which get stuck in my vessels and causes severe pain because of reduced oxygen levels. I never know when I will have a “Crisis”; fever and pain and have to be hospitalized for days, weeks or a month getting constant medication. They keep me in the hospital until my fever and pain is manageable. I worry about my organs though: I’ve had an enlarged spleen and high blood pressure in my lungs.
During a recent “Crisis”, I was talking to a Nurse who told me that her son “Had” sickle cell anemia. (Miracle # 1) My ears perked up…did she say “Had” as in past tense, as in it’s over? Is there a miracle cure or treatment that I don’t know about? She told me her son had a bone marrow transplant surgery and he has not had a crisis since the surgery! The surgery is invasive, requires a donor match and a long recovery, but our conversation gave me HOPE! I too could live a “normal” life and enjoy each Birthday knowing there will be many more and fulfill my dream of being _________________ on Broadway!
I did my homework found out more information. Miracle #2 was that my older brother, Channing, is a Perfect Match and was willing to do anything to help me!
Miracle #3…Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL agreed to do the groundbreaking surgery on July 6, 2017.
More Information on Transplant
Miracle #4 is where you come in. This groundbreaking surgery is very costly and the changes right now in our country concerning health care, will definitely put stress and financial burden on my family. I will truly be grateful for any amount to help with the cost of the surgery, recovery, follow-up care and living expenses for the family member that must accompany me to Tampa.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your generosity. I thank you for allowing me to fulfill my dream of living a “normal life” as a Pain Free College Student. . . Miracle #5!
The one very positive thing about having this disease: I have found a true calling. I will “Pay It Forward” through advocating for those who are suffering from this condition by supporting them and linking them to treatment options and possible donors.