Spreading Awareness

We were invited to share our story at an American Red Cross Blood Mobile presentation.  Generous donors funded a bloodmobile for our local Red Cross office.  We were happy to represent The B Strong Group and share our story to let the donors see who their generous donation impacts.  We were able to meet the donors and thank them in person.  We shared our sickle cell story and told the about our organization and the things we want to do.  bloodmobile talkWe want to support those with sickle cell disease and the other organizations that provide support for those with sickle cell disease.  We are determined to promote the importance of blood donation to those with sickle cell disease.  We especially want to encourage African Americans to donate blood because a lot of sickle cell patients need our type of blood, as well.  Blood donation will always be a priority to The B Strong Group because a blood transfusion helped to save our son’s life.  We will never stop advocating.

A look inside the new blood mobile that was donated to the Columbia Red Cross office.

Why Are You Smiling?

Not too long ago, my son and I participated in a fundraiser for our local children’s hospital.  We arrived for our portion of the event a little early and proceeded to check in to let the organizers know that we were there.  I recalled greeting several people with a smile on our way to the check in table.    Later on when it was time to do our interview, we were introduced to the interviewee and he said, “I saw you earlier when you came in and you had this huge smile.  I had no idea that you were a mom of one of the miracle children we were going to interview.  Why are you smiling?”me and braden

I immediately processed the question.  I thought about how I was feeling at the time.  I thought about how well my son was feeling at the time.  We hadn’t had a hospital stay in a while and we were managing his illness very well.  I then proceeded to answer our interviewee, “God is good! Why not smile?”

Trust me, this journey is not all smiles and I’m human but when I think of all the goodness that God has granted us, I must smile.  It took me a while to get to this point.  The guilt, the constant worrying, the “woe is me”…..I had to learn to deal with it all.  It took time, prayer, sharing how I felt, listening to those who wanted to help me to get to this point of smiling.  When I catch myself sliding back into the gloom,  I check myself and my attitude, say “Thank you, Jesus” and I smile.

I smile because my God is good!

 

Proverbs 17:22 King James Version (KJV)

 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Braden’s 12 Birthday Bash & Blood Drive

 

COME CELEBRATE WITH US AND GIVE BACK IN HONOR OF OUR SICKLE CELL WARRIORS!

 

Sign up to donate blood here!

We will have a family & kid-friendly kickball tournament too!  Get your team together and go to our FB Blood Drive Event Page and let us know!

There will be games, arts and crafts, food, drinks and special guests and its all FREE!

Come celebrate another year of life and help to save lives as well!

If you cannot donate blood, consider bringing craft items to donate to Child Life at Palmetto’s Children’s Hospital!  Braden loves crafts and it served as a distraction during his hospital stays.  We want to make sure other children are able to be as comfortable as possible during their stay.  Items that can be donated are: crayons, pencils, markers, coloring books, word finds, cross word puzzles, legos, etc.!  This is in lieu of birthday gifts for Braden!

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Braden’s artwork during one of his stays.  We always display his artwork on the windowsill of his room.  It encouraged him to keep creating despite of what he was visiting the hospital for.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at thebstronggroup@gmail.com or via FB, Instagram, Twitter of Messenger!

Our Story.

My husband and I found out that our son has sickle cell disease when he was 3 months old.  The newborn screening performed in our local hospital upon his birth identified that Braden has Sickle Cell Hemoglobin C disease.  My husband has the trait and I have an abnormal Hemoglobin C.  I (mom) had no idea of our son’s chances of having sickle cell because I had no idea of my or my husband’s genetic status.  Needless to say, we had a very deep learning curve.

The majority of our education of this disease came from our son’s hematologist, pediatrician, our local Children’s hospital and its foundation and Google.  I tried to learn as much as I could in order to appropriately advocate for my son.  There were very stressful times throughout our journey, trying to understand discern if his symptoms were sickle cell related or just normal childhood ailments.  A fever of 101 degrees F, was a required Emergency Department visit.  For the first 5 to 6 years of his life, he was hospitalized multiple times per year for mainly infection issues.  He is prone to pneumonia and has battled it numerous times.  In 2015, he was diagnosed with acute chest syndrome and it nearly cost him his life.  That was the most scariest time of our lives with Braden.

We are blessed to still be able to tell our story with Braden with us.  We are still learning as much as we can and through this organization, hope to spread awareness about this disease, hope to be able to advocate for Braden as well as other children and adults who suffer from this disease and to listen to our warriors and their caregivers as they share their stories.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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