My daughter London is 9-years-old and is a bright young lady. She is outgoing, and enjoys spending time with her siblings and cousins, and loves attending school and socializing with friends.
At birth, she was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, an inherited disorder that attacks red blood cells. People with Sickle Cell Disease have abnormal hemoglobin in their red blood cells, which causes severe pain that occurs without warning. Severe crises can be more uncomfortable than post-surgical pain or even childbirth.
Initially, I knew nothing about Sickle Cell Disease or how bad of a disease it was until London developed a fever and was admitted into the hospital. In her lifetime, we have experienced several hospital visits for pain and other symptoms such as fluid build-up in the lungs.
Living with Sickle Cell Disease is not easy but we try our best to live a normal life. Once at a doctor’s visit at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, a social worker came in to check on us. She introduced me to the Kids Kicking Cancer Program and explained that the program was free and offered karate/martial arts schooling, and is designed for both the unwell child, as well as siblings.
London is often hospitalized for days, or even weeks. Once while at the hospital London asked to see her siblings, and Kids Kicking Cancer arranged for free transportation for my children to visit. I thought “It can’t get any better than this.” This program has helped my children deal with many issues, and helps London to be brave during hospital and doctor visits. The power of relaxed breathing keeps them focused and in control of their emotions. It has been 3 years since my children enrolled in this program and they absolutely love it. Not only do they participate in karate, they attend special events and trips and as a parent I enjoy these services and I have learned how to deal with my emotions as well.
Kids Kicking Cancer is amazing! I would like to send a special thanks to everyone who is involved in making this program awesome.