Singing Her Way Through Sickle Cell Disease

LeCarol Batson has a coping skill to share with other kids who have sickle cell disease: Sing it out.

Since she was 6 years old and started attending summer camp for kids with cancer and blood disorders, LeCarol has looked for ways to stay positive about her condition.

She is one of 100,000 people across the country who have sickle cell disease, characterized by abnormally shaped red blood cells that look more like sickles than circles. The misshapen cells can get stuck in blood vessels, which can block blood flow and cause other problems.

LeCarol is sensitive to temperature changes, and she doesn’t care much for blood draws. But her nurses at Cincinnati Children’s know her favorite way to cope with procedures she doesn’t like. They sing camp songs with her.

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and today’s blog post features stories of coping with the disease through song, laughter and prayer. This is LeCarol’s story.

http://www.youtube.com/v/I-ksEInrvJ4?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

Zion Coleman’s story

Zion Coleman also has a camp story.

Camp is where he has learned to deal with his disease by meeting friends who deal with the same thing. He has learned to stay well-hydrated, to rest and to laugh.

Smiling with social worker Lisa Leace at camp helped him focus on what he can do rather than what he can’t.

This is his story.

http://www.youtube.com/v/csBy2VktlHo?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

Adrian McKinney II’s story

“We’re going to make it through, and so will Adrian.”

That’s how Torie McKinney describes going through life as a parent of a child with sickle cell disease.

Torie considers it a disease her family can manage, with the help of Cincinnati Children’s. Since Adrian was a baby, his care team has helped every step of the way.

Kids with sickle cell disease and their families say the disease is manageable, if you can find ways to cope with it. These families have, through song, laughter and prayer.

Watch the McKinney family’s story here.

http://www.youtube.com/v/m__UIjTcKvY?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

Tanya Leach

About the Author: Tanya Leach

Tanya Bricking Leach is a writer and video producer at Cincinnati Children's and a former newspaper reporter who has covered crime for The Cincinnati Enquirer, sports for USA Today, island life for The Honolulu Advertiser, food for The Associated Press and stories about storms and surfers for the New York Times. Tanya is the author of the military-themed travel guide "Hawaii for Heroes." She is married to a military veteran and is the mother of two young boys. When she's not wired in at work, she enjoys unplugging with her family on their sailboat.

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