Last year our family started donating to a charity instead of buying gifts for the adults during the holiday season. In 2018, we supported The American Cancer Society and this year we have decided to support The Sickle Cell Foundation. Just like cancer, sickle cell disease has impacted our family in a major way.
Cymone Swauncy and Cayden Swauncy were both born with sickle cell anemia (SS). Both of their journey's started off with being diagnosed at birth. Even though their disease manifests differently both girls exhibit some of the same symptoms.
Cymone, now 15, had several acute chest syndromes which placed her in the hospital multiple times. When she was 8, Cymone's acute chest syndrome caused her to have to be placed in ICU. During this time, the doctors were adamant that she needed a port catheter placed in her chest where she would get monthly blood exchanges. Since the placement of the port in the chest, Cymone receives monthly blood exchanges which replace her sickle blood with normal blood. This has helped her tremendously and helps her maintain an active life.
Cayden, now 10, has experienced several hospitalizations. Her SS disease has manifested differently. She has only had 1 acute chest syndrome episode. Unfortunately, Cayden has PICA. Her lack of a certain deficiency causes her to eat hair. This has ultimately caused her to have 5 stomach surgeries in order to remove the hair balls. Her last surgery was in September 2019. We have been working closely with so many doctors to help with her condition.
The countless blood transfusions, the frequent doctor visits, the pain crisis, the daily med regulation, and the MANY sleepless nights that the whole family endures is very frustrating but we also think about how much joy, strength, and love these 2 beautiful human beings exhibit everyday. They NEVER complain, they persevere, and they laugh! Their lives and story will impact others and THEIR FUTURE. They are fighters and what we call Sickle Cell Warriors. We are truly blessed to have them in our lives and we, as a family, will continue to support and educate ourselves and others as we help search for a cure .
All funds raised go to support chapters nationwide in their efforts to assist individuals and their families who have sickle cell disease. SCDAA provides information and referral, educational programs, and advocacy efforts for better treatment and research for a cure.