A Message From KiKi Shepard:
As many of you know, I have dedicated myself to “raising awareness” of Sickle Cell Disease for the past 19 years. This journey began when I saw the effect on the family of a personal friend whose brother suffered and died as a result of this terrible disease. The strong desire to combat my shared grief and sense of helplessness led me to offer my services to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. Through this national organization, I was introduced to SCD families across America, and was able to interact with many patients whose bodies and minds are ravaged by this disease.
On one occasion while visiting Children's Hospital L.A., one of the gallant doctors there shared with me the story of how he had administered “enough morphine to kill an adult” to a child having a SCD crisis, and it didn’t even make a dent in the pain this child was experiencing. Hearing these life stories of SCD patients fueled my desire to help even more. My commitment continues.
Although there is a procedure that eliminates/cures this disease – the bone marrow transplant – the procedure is out of financial reach for many families and is not always successful. Awareness and education are paramount. This year the KIS Foundation, Inc., is focusing on young adults in transition from pediatric care to adult care. Young adult SCD patients are often denied medical care in emergency rooms due to a lack of knowledge of SCD symptoms and appropriate procedures. Sickle Cell Disease research is not given the same priority as similar blood disorders. It is up to us to change that!! The need for awareness, financial research resources, and an affordable, universal cure continues.
Please… Help Me To Help Others! Let’s Break the Cycle of SCD.