Stories and Testimonials That Honor & Acknowledge BTG Warriors And Families
Questylleon Dodson-McElroy was born December 16, 2000 to Rajahnique Dodson and Antonio McElroy. Quest was born in Homer, Louisiana. He attended Ollie Detwiler Elementary, West Preparatory Jr High, and Western High school. At the age of Ten he landed his first job as a sign holder at Dollar store, he also cut grass, cleaned, and delivered bounce houses with aunt Meka & uncle Tony. He loved skateboarding, rapping, music, making people laugh, football, four-wheeler riding, animals, and fashion. Quest was a humbled young man all around and will truly be missed.
We will miss our Warrior that we knew as "Quest". Dr Rashid we know he was special to you!, (As all of them are)!
Congratulations to Tijarhee Davis the 2021 Bridging the Gap Scholarship winner! Tijarhee submitted the essay below as a testimonial of her experience with Sickle Cell Anemia.
Being a black girl in society is hard enough, but being a black girl in society with sickle cell is a whole different challenge. The way some doctors treat you as a drug addict or sometimes not even taking the time out of their day to come and see about you is horrible. One thing about being constantly in the hospital has taught me is strength. Being the oldest of 4 with a full-time
working mother, sometimes I’m at the hospital by myself. This means I had to learn how to speak up and advocate for myself. Sickle cell has not only made me stronger physically but
mentally as well.
With sickle cell, you miss out on a lot of different things such as school, dances, vacations, parties, etcetera. You have to learn how to be able to handle the losses, or it will eat at you until you can’t take it anymore. Take it from me being sick all the time took a lot
out of me mentally it still does, and probably always will. I had to learn that it was okay for me to take the time to get better, it took all of my strength to finally be able to be okay with the life I
had to live being diagnosed with sickle cell.
Sickle cell has made me strong in unimaginable ways, Although sickle cell is not ideal it has taught me a lot of things about myself, for instance,
I learned that I am a great communicator, that I have high pain tolerance, and that I am great under pressure. Sickle cell can be the worst part of someone’s life, but I choose to make it the
best part of mine to make it the reason I am the strong woman that I am today.
Diagnosis: Sickle Cell Anemia
Group: Bridging The Gap
Hi, my name is Beatrice and I’m 23 years old. I was born and raised here in Las Vegas. At the age of two I was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Currently I am a nursing student at Nevada State College, and I plan on specializing in pediatric hematology once I graduate. I am excited to be apart of this foundation to help out people just like me, and how to transition into adulthood with sickle cell because it can be hard!
Diagnosis: Sickle Cell Anemia
Group: Bridging The Gap
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria where I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) at the age of 2 after having my first crisis. While in Nigeria, my family did well in managing my health with a combination of western and homeopathic treatments. At the age of 7, my family and I moved to Reno, Nevada in the USA. Unknown to us at the time, the high elevation and weather changes would have a very negative effect on my health and would immediately trigger a severe SCD crisis placing me in a life and death situation. Being in Reno, the healthcare professionals were unfamiliar with my diagnosis and how to treat it. They informed my parents to begin making funeral arrangements. Being the faithful Christians they were, my parents refused to give up hope even at a time when the medical professionals had. After continued prayers, a new doctor volunteered to take on my case. Dr. Kathleen Christopherson was open with my parents on her lack of knowledge regarding Sickle Cell Disease, but assured them that she would learn in order to save their son. She was true to her word. Though it would not be my last near death experience, that first memorable experience was the one that would shape and direct my future aspirations. The whole ordeal, and Dr. Christopherson, created such a positive experience for me that I decided I would grow up to work in healthcare, specifically in a hospital. Now at 34, though I have experienced 4 near death crises due to my Sickle Cell, I have also become stronger because of them. I now work as a hospital case manager. I carry the faith of my parents and the determination of Dr. Christopherson to work with me daily in order to help others and their families during their own times of need and uncertainty even as times change and the world now battles with a new healthcare crisis and pandemic. I will continue to use my knowledge and experience both as a patient and a healthcare professional to help others. It has become even more of a passion to be specifically able to help others with my same diagnosis. This is why I joined Bridging The Gap and continue to advocate for other SCD patients. I have come to understand that although I have been given a diagnosis, that diagnosis does not, should not, and will not define or limit me in this life. It is my prayer that I will be blessed enough to help other SCD patients understand the same.
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