Meet Alana: 2021 Family Advocacy Week Champion

Alana is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from June 13-18, 2021. Through this event, Alana and her family will discuss her health journey, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s role in providing her with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Alana.

When then 1-year-old Alana was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provided her mother, Merisha, with information and care.

"I'd heard of SCD but really didn't know much about it,” says Merisha.“I didn't know anyone who had it and what I had heard, wasn't great.”

After learning more about SCD, Alana and her mother have created a lifestyle that keeps her healthy and they continue to educate others on the disease.

"The staff at CHOP are knowledgeable and full of compassion,” says Merisha.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased anxiety and isolation levels for the family, according to Merisha.

Today, Alana is 11 years old, remains healthy and likes singing. She sees a hematologist at CHOP twice a year. 

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