What's Up Wednesday -- Capri

Capri_1.jpg#WhatsUpWednesday is our chance to hear from the teens who are involved with the Speak Now for Kids community. This week’s post will focus on Capri, a recent Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero. When she was just 13 days old, Capri was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. As a member of the Teen Advisory Council at Levine Children’s Hospital she feels strongly that it is important to educate those around her about what it’s like having asthma and sickle cell anemia.

So Capri….what’s up?

Why do I advocate? I advocate for Levine because it is a wonderful care system that goes above and beyond for the treatment and wellness of its patients. The doctors and staff are all pleasant and educative. I advocate for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) because I feel that it is my duty. It is a very complex disease that many don't understand including the medical field. We must have people to advocate and support the mighty warriors who fight this disease including myself. It is vital that I increase awareness of SCD to have more support, research, and unity about this disease. I advocate for the proposed bill because it is financially supporting those who are in need of care and cannot afford it themselves.

Person I find most inspirational: I find my mother the most inspirational person to me because she is so motivating to me and others. She is one of the smartest people I know. The knowledge that she has about so many topics and subjects amazes me and how she applies them to everyday life. She is my number one supporter. She advocates for me and whatever cause I'm supporting. Even when I know times get hard she never shows it. She keeps a positive attitude all the time. I aspire to be as intelligent, happy, and inspiring as her.

What makes me unique: I feel that the combination of my characteristics, hobbies, interests, obstacles, and desirability's are what make me unique. I mean how often do you come across  a person who has a cake business, loves shopping,  cheerleads, averages above a 4.0 GPA, super outgoing, talkative, hates lima beans, is a community leader, and battles Sickle Cell Disease? The answer... Once in  a lifetime. It is possible to apply these traits to another person but they will never be equivalent to me. I am me and no one can do it better than me.

What jam gets me up when I’m down: I love music in general. There is no one song that gets me up. I have a cornucopia of songs I listen to get me out of a funk.  I absolutely love music. It is the best remedy for when you're feeling down.

rsz_levine_childrens_hospital_reece_capri_photo1.jpgWhat have I overcome? I have overcome everything people said I couldn't . I've lived past being toddler, which is pretty difficult when you have SCD.  I have been able to balance a social life, school, and various extracurricular activities all while having Sickle Cell. I have learned to appreciate  and gain from my disease and not hate it. When I was younger I used to hate having this disease. I said I would never get anything good from having this disease and look where I am now.

What do I want the world to know about my condition? I want the world to know that you cannot base my condition based on how I look. Looking at me you wouldn't know I live with a life-threatening disease everyday. You cannot see the pain, fatigueness,  or other obstacles I battle with this disease just by looking at me. You cannot see the tears I have shed from the pain I have experienced.  The pain is like shards of glass floating inside my veins and you will never be able to see it.

If I could change the world, I would…heal everyone from any sickness they have to endure; whether it is a common cold, cancer, or Sickle Cell Disease. No one deserves the consequences of sickness. Not a single person. So if I could change the world I would heal everyone.

Who, or what, is my biggest supporter: My biggest supporter is my mother as I recently stated. She is my backbone. The peanut to my butter, the sunshine to my day, even the hydroxyurea to my Sickle Cell (this is my treatment medicine).  Without her I would be nothing. Literally, I would not exist.

What does my children’s hospital mean to me: My hospital means a lot to me. This is the place I seek care from when my mom's kisses don't do the trick. I come here to learn and treat my disease. All while staff work hard to make sure I am comfortable. This is the place where I was afforded many great opportunities to give back to my community and where they give back to me.

How do I plan to give back to the world: I plan to give back to the world by becoming a doctor specifically Hematologist. I feel that doctors are some of the most giving people ever. They dedicate their lives, time, and energy to save the lives of others. To fix what others cannot. I also want to continue volunteering within the medical field and to my community. ''It takes a village to raise a child," I want to mentor and be a role model today and for the rest of my life. Giving motivation to others paves the way for other journeys that can change more lives. I just want to be apart of that chain reaction maybe even the start of it.

What do I want to be when I grow up: I want to be a Hematologist when I grow up. I also want to be a mother, wife, and mentor. I also want to be the person who finds a universal cure for Sickle Cell Disease

Didn't see Capri's original Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day Post? Just click here

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