Meet Tymia: 2017 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero
Tymia was born with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), a condition that causes deformed red blood cells. SCD is associated with a number of complications, including unbearable pain. The health crises caused by SCD require a lot of attention, and they have taken away Tymia’s ability to use her hands and feet at times. While there is no cure, Tymia and other SCD patients require frequent medical treatment. Tymia has been hospitalized over 48 times and has endured 44 blood transfusions to help save her life.
“Tymia has Type SS, which is the worst kind of Sickle Cell. But, like all of the types, it affects everyone who has it differently. For her it has been a battle,” explained Tymia’s mother, Susie.
Despite the challenges of living with SCD, Tymia is a brave and ambitious 11-year-old. Her health care providers at the MUSC Children’s have gone above and beyond to make sure that she feels comfortable and supported.
Describing the importance of Medicaid in her life, Tymia’s mother said, “Medicaid has guaranteed that my daughter will receive consistent and effective medical care. Without it, she may not be here today. For this, we are truly grateful.”
To help spread awareness about SCD, Tymia actively works to educate others who might not know much about the condition. Tymia hopes to inspire other young children through her actions and her own slogan — “Your sky has no limit; you can do or be anything. You just have to put your mind to it and work hard with a lasting smile.”
She works as an ambassador for the American Red Cross and is the head leader on her police community board. Tymia also enjoys pageantry, modeling, singing and ballet. In the future, Tymia plans to become a model and a pediatrician.
Help us welcome Tymia to Washington, D.C.!
Tymia was recently featured in a NPR's All Things Considered. You can listen to her story here