Whenever I travel to a new city, I look for sickle cell disease advocates in the area. I like to make contact and invite them to events that I’m participating in. Recently, I was visiting San Diego, California and searched for local sickle cell contacts. I found one.During my search, I came across an article about Selina Harris. Selina is a child in San Diego similar to other children her age with one exception, she is living with sickle cell disease. Selina is treated at Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego, a sickle cell center.
In this article, I discovered Selina’s courage, strength and perseverance AND the love of her mother Yolanda.
I called Yolanda to connect and find out more about Selina. I was surprised to find out the story I was looking for was Selina AND Yolanda's story. Yolanda represented to me every parent who supports and fights for their children with a medical challenge. Yolanda is a caregiver, advocate, organizer and parent with the unending love for her child & all children living with sickle cell disease.As an everyday hero, Yolanda goes about her everyday responsibility of making sure Selina lives a life of wellness. She also organizes events to educate her community about sickle cell disease.
1st Annual Walk for Sickle Cell Anemia 2013
We can always recognize an everyday hero by what they give to the world. Yolanda and Selina Harris gave me so much encouragement. I’m encouraged by parents teaching their children to be self-advocates for their health. I’m encouraged that parents are speaking up to medical professionals reminding them that “we”, people living with sickle cell disease, are “living” and should be treated with care, respect & dignity. I’m encouraged that people with sickle cell disease are being pro-active and educated about their treatment options. I'm encouraged by Selina and Yolanda.
Yolanda is not unique. There are sickle cell heroes throughout the world advocating, marching, organizing, teaching, giving, and sharing their time, talent and resources.Today, I’m taking notice of just one set of heroes, Selina & Yolanda Harris. Good job!!!!!!