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Meet William: 2019 Family Advocacy Day Child Champion

William is participating at 2019 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 25-26 in Washington, D.C. During the event, William will share information about his health journey and the importance of children’s health care with members of Congress. Below is his story.

Despite everything this 9-year-old has been through, William’s resilience and zest for life is amazing. William was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at birth and has been receiving care at Dayton Children’s Hospital ever since.

William is in and out of the hospital and ER more than ten times per year. Unfortunately, the care he needs meant that he didn’t have a typical 9th birthday celebration. Instead of having a party at home with his friends and family, he spent the day in Dayton Children’s Emergency Department; he had contracted a fever, which for a sickle cell patient is a medical emergency.

The sickle cell team at the hospital, including nurse Teresa Berter, go the extra mile for their patients by meeting with their school teaching staff to educate them on the special accommodations each child needs. For example, William must avoid exposure to extreme temperatures and needs to stay well hydrated—thankfully, his teachers know that thanks to Dayton Children’s.

Despite the pressure of sickle cell disease and missing a lot of school, William excels in his classes. He loves to read, a joy his mom fostered in him from a young age by reading to him while she was pregnant. William loves picking out a new book to read from Dayton Children’s book cart every time he’s at the hospital.

William has had to make a lot of changes in life to manage sickle cell disease, but he doesn’t let the disease limit him. Despite his own struggles, his level of care and empathy for others is remarkable!

Join us in welcoming William to 2019 Family Advocacy Day.


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