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Mary Loses battle to sickle cell

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Mary Mwimba Simfukwe Turner

Mary was born in the US from Zambian parents on 27th December 1974. As a child she lived in the US, Ethiopia, Australia and Zambia. Her family finally moved back to Zambia in her teens. She moved back to the US and made Silver Spring, MD her home. Mary was diagnosed Sickle Cell Anemia at birth, the condition she courageously handled throughout her life. She underwent several treatments at NIH over the years. With age, the condition progressively gave her more challenges with her daily life. She had not been able to work over the past ten years or more. She spent most of the time in the hospital either undergoing treatment to manage the constant excruciating pain that limited her daily chores. However, Mary still managed and lived independently to her death. She lived a positive life without ever complaining of her health challenges. She was quick to smile, easy to laugh, very giving and always ready to help whenever she could. In the family she touched many and certainly the medical team at NIH where she built relationships with physicians, nurses, social workers and fellow patients.

Sadly, Mary passed alone in the house between Thursday, May 25, the last time she communicated with a family member and Tuesday, May 30 when paramedics forced open her apartment. She is survived by a retired mother and three sisters who all live in Lusaka, Zambia. In the US, her family were the medical team and friends she met during treatments at NIH. Her next of kin will need to travel to the US from Zambia. Her funeral will be held in the US and to assist the travel and funeral expenses, the fund will be very helpful to honor her life. Every little help will be greatly appreciated and all the proceeds will be passed on to the next of kin.



  • Mark Gladwin
    • $100 
    • 7 yrs


Vainah Sithole Shapata
Winnipeg, MB

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