October 20, 2001 our first born son, Asante Ma’at, was born. I remember how he looked, how cute he was, even how he smelled. Those first few weeks of life were some of the most joyful and frightening days of my life.
Not long after Asante was born my husband and I got a call from the hospital to let us know that Asante had sickle cell anemia (SS type). What did that mean? We had no idea. But, we do now.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a serious disease where the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent. Sickle cells are stiff and sticky. They can block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs. This has caused excruciating pain, serious infections, numerous hospital stays and organ damage for our son.
I remember when he was born and we were being educated about the disease. One of the first doctors we talked to said “10 years from now there will be major progress that will have been made in getting closer to a more widely available cure for sickle cell. I just know it.” At the time her words didn’t mean much to us. 10 years? I had an infant who was having pain crises that hurt so bad it would keep him up at night crying and screaming . As parents, not being able to take the pain away is one of the most difficult things we’ve ever had to endure in our lives.
As hard as it’s been on our entire family Asante is the one who’s really gone through. He is the strongest and wisest little boy I know. Most adults couldn’t endure what he’s endured up until this point. Excruciating pain crises that last for days on end, pneumonia after pneumonia, dangerous sickling in his lungs (acute chest syndrome), deterioration of his hips (avascular necrosis) to the point where he’s been ordered by the doctors to not run and jump anymore, blood transfusions, admissions to the ICU…
But, here we are–10 years later–and our little baby is now our 10 year old big boy and there IS a cure that is more widely available today. Yes, there IS a cure and he needs it. Asante needs a bone marrow transplant and as God is our witness we are going to do everything in our power to push forward until he is blessed with a transplant and his body is free of sickle cell!
All that is involved in preparing and paying for a bone marrow transplant is very expensive. All monies raised here will go to Asante’s medical costs and related expenses not covered by insurance. If we should happen to raise more than what is needed, the remaining donations will go to a verifiable Sickle Cell charity or organization of record.
Please help us by doing three things:
#1 Please DONATE to our family in any amount that you can.
The reason we chose to call his campaign “Pennies For Asante” is because no donation is too small or great! If everyone reaches in their hearts and gives what they can we know we can reach our goal of curing our son.
We know the power of social media to get important life changing messages out to the world. If you can take 1 minute to help us by sharing our son’s story and his need through email, Facebook, or Twitter it will make a HUGE difference in how quickly we can move forward with starting the transplant process. Think about it–if 52,450 people gave only 1 dollar we will have met out goal.
YOU could be a match for Asante! YOU could be someone else’s life saver! African Americans are significantly under-represented on the registry. So, when families like mine go to check the list hoping for a match, we come up with nothing far too often.
If you would like to speak to someone regarding Asante, our process, or the campaign please feel free to call 202-573-8546 or send us an email at PenniesForAsante@gmail.com.
Visit the website at: PenniesforAsante.com
Thank you so much for your support! It means more than you will ever know. We are claiming his cure. It’s already done. We BELIEVE it.
With Deep Gratitude,
The Ma’at Family- Ayize, Aiyana, Asante, Akaiya, Akina, & Addae