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  1. These Warriors Had Their Wishes Granted and Their Stories Will Melt Your Heart

    November 30, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    'Tis the season for giving, miracles, and making wishes come true. But, organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and others like it grant the heart's desire of children throughout the year. Read on to learn about some of the many wonder-filled experiences young SCD warriors have received, and perhaps, you'll be inspired to refer a warrior that you know this holiday.

    1) Kevin, 14, wished to be an Air Force pilot.
    High altitudes can trigger a crisis, but these wish granters had a solution.

    2) Shannon, 13, wished for a shopping spree.
    And it came complete with the red carpet treatment, full makeover, personal shopper, and photo shoot!

    3) Daniel, 12, wished to spend a day with the Steelers, his favorite football team.
    "Every member of the Steelers signed his football, and he even posed for pictures with several of the players."

    4) Amir, 9, wished for a trip to Hawaii to see the volcanoes.
    "The thing I liked most was the helicopter ride because you could go over a giant mountain and see all these waterfalls and volcanoes.

    5) Breanna, 10, wished for a Yorkie puppy.
    "She likes to get rubbed in between her ears and her belly and she likes to be held."

    6) Isatu, 7, wished to be a rock star.
    "Singing gets her through the rough times."

    Do you have a wish story to tell? Share it in the comments below!

  2. #MondayMotivation: Giving Thanks Even on Those “Off Days”

    November 23, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: StockSnap.io; "Every Day is a Gift"

    Photo: StockSnap.io; "Every Day is a Gift"

    “If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” ~ Harold Kushner

    We know that living with sickle cell and/or caring for someone who does can really test your limits, especially when in the throws of a crisis. This week, though, in honor of Thanksgiving, try to celebrate more of the good things in your life by finding at least one thing each day to be grateful for, despite the pain. Giving yourself the chance to redirect your thoughts to the positive aspects of your life can help restore feelings of hope and remind you that you are so much more than your illness. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    1) Be thankful that you were blessed with another day of life.
    So many people were not. You still have the opportunity to find and fulfill your purpose, spend time with your family and friends, and simply enjoy your favorite things.

    2) Be thankful for your family and friends, who are always there to whelp when you need it.
    They're the people who will not only drive you to your appointments or watch your kids when you have to take another child to the doctor, but they will also simply lounge around the house with you binge-watching Netflix when you're not feeling up to leaving the house.

    3) Be thankful that you have a safe place to live, food to eat, and water to drink.
    It's easy to take our modern conveniences for granted, but think about it, all we have to do is turn on a faucet to get water and go a grocery store, restaurant, or order in to get food. These may seem like simple things, but to many people in the world, these are things that are not easy to come by.

    For a list of more things to be grateful for -- that you probably never even thought of -- check out "48 Unconventional Things I'm Grateful For ... That I Bet are Not on Your List."

    What things -- small or large -- are you thankful for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  3. T-Boz Throws Holiday Concert to Benefit Sickle Cell Disease

    November 16, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: Facebook/Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins

    Photo: Facebook/Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins

    'Tis the season for giving -- and what better way to contribute to a cause that you're passionate about than by attending a holiday benefit concert thrown by T-Boz, the ultimate celebrity sickle cell activist? A warrior herself, T-Boz truly understands the needs of those living with SCD and plans to donate the money raised from ticket sales to the Sickle Cell Foundation Support Group.

    The concert, "T-Boz Unplugged," will be held on Sunday, December 6 at the Avalon in Hollywood, California and will feature T-Boz (of course), Da Brat, SWV, Kat Graham, and Kiana Brown, and will be hosted by Zendaya. And don't worry if your budget won't allow for a cross-country flight: You can also purchase access to the live stream here as it gets closer to the event.

    We've talked a lot about how to host your own fundraising event for sickle cell lately, but we know that not everyone who's down for the cause leads any official organizations or has the means and the manpower to plan a program. Purchasing tickets to this show is the perfect alternative.

    Do you plan to get tickets? How else will you be raising money and/or awareness for sickle cell this season? Tell us in the comments below!

  4. 5 Easy Ways You Can Educate the Community About Sickle Cell

    November 9, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    1. Be Patient

    It's easy to get frustrated with the fact that many people still don't know what sickle cell is, and even if they have heard of it, they may not exactly understand how it works. Take those times when people utter misinformed remarks or when they genuinely inquire about the disease as teachable moments, in which you can impart correct knowledge to them right on the spot.

    2. Introduce Them to a Warrior.
    Sometimes, the best way to educate the people in your area is to have them hear first-hand accounts about sickle cell disease directly from the warriors themselves. Connect with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America or your local sickle cell advocacy organizations to obtain information on booking speakers at your next event.

    3. Start a Facebook Group.
    They're super easy to set up, and you can invite anyone to join. This is a great option for individuals and organizations to spread their message of sickle cell awareness to a large group of people at once. On the Facebook group's page, you can directly answer questions related to sickle cell disease, as well as share information about the latest advancements and breaking news.

    4. Develop an App.
    If you're tech savvy, consider building an educational app that teaches people all about what sickle cell is and how it affects the body. A mobile app game could be the perfect way to get people interested in learning more about SCD, especially children and adolescents.

  5. 4 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Sickle Cell Awareness Campaign

    November 2, 2015 by Andrea
    These tips are the seeds you can plant to give new life to your awareness campaigns. (Photo: Kaboompics)

    These tips are the seeds you can plant to give new life to your awareness campaigns. (Photo: Kaboompics)

    Feeling like your SCD awareness methods have as much life as those Halloween ghosts? Put these four tips into play and breathe new energy into your movement:

    1. Ask past participants to share photos of themselves at your events. Then, repost those photos on social media and your blog. Just as positive reviews can help sell products, photos of people positively engaging in your fundraising and volunteer programs can inspire others to get involved with your organization, as well.

    2. Hold a Twitter Q&A. One reason for a drop off in activity may just be that not enough people are aware of what you're doing for the SCD community. Use social media to your advantage and set aside an hour or so once a week or once a month to answer questions people may have about your efforts. This will give you an opportunity to share information about upcoming events, any crowdsourcing campaigns you're running, and generally how people can join your team.

    3. Rethink your events. Looking to attract an increased number of young people to join with your other established volunteers? Host an event that may interest that set more, such as a benefit concert or a game night. What's more fun that dancing the night away or unleashing your competitive spirit around friends, while raising money for sickle cell all at the same time?

    4. Feel the love. Sometimes a lack of motivation can be the cause of your slump. It's not that you've completely lost your passion for raising awareness; you've just become a bit burned out. To combat this, start keeping a "love" folder in your e-mail, on your computer, or even in hard copy form. When that "meh" feeling starts creeping up, read all the positive feedback you've saved in your "love" folder and let that be the boost you need to step up your awareness efforts.

    Overcoming campaign fatigue is simple once you decide to break out of your usual routine and implement fresh ideas. Which of these tips will you/have you used? How else have you brought new life to a volunteer slow down? Tell us in the comments below!

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