Family Advocacy Day Hero -- Meet Awo O.

Awo O., Age 14  
Hometown: Dayton, OH
Hospital: Dayton Children’s Hospital, Dayton, OH


Awo’s smile can light up a room. Whether she is acting, singing or playing volleyball, this active teen has a bubbly personality and fun loving attitude that rubs off on everyone she comes into contact with. She has learned to overcome her sickle cell disease with a positive attitude and, alongside her mom, is helping to pave the way for better treatment for adult sickle cell patients.

For the first seven years of her life, Awo stayed fairly healthy. However, when she was in second grade, her condition worsened and on a number of occasions Awo had to stay for a week at Dayton Children’s Hospital due to acute chest syndrome, a serious complication related to sickle cell. Not long after these stays, she began experiencing intense knee pain and eventually required a blood transfusion.

At age 9, Awo began taking ownership of her own treatment and learned what medicines she needs to take every day and — when she does have pain —what she needs to do in order to feel better.

Awo continues to do amazing things, all the while teaching others the message that the disease doesn’t control you; you control the disease.

Fact: Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program helps fund training for more than 6,000 resident pediatricians every year.

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