Battling Sickle Cell Disease
Bryan is battling sickle-cell disease but that hasn't stopped him from bouncing around like a ball of energy with a huge smile on his face.
Thicker Than Blood
Bryan has considered East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to be his second home since he was just six weeks old.
Bryan was born with sickle cell anemia, a disease that causes blood cells to be curved instead of disc-shaped. Despite living with constant pain and having frequent blood transfusions, Bryan won’t let sickle cell slow him down.
“What Michael Jordan is to basketball is what I am to sickle cell anemia,” says Bryan.
The 15-year-old has received more than 15 blood transfusions and had his spleen removed when he was just 2 years old. Throughout his 15 years of treatment, Bryan calls the people at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital his family.
“I don’t like sickle cell anemia, but I love Children’s Hospital,” he says.
Everyone who has taken a part in Bryan’s care has done everything to make sure his only concern is being a kid.
Bryan’s mother, Trista says, “We have had some of our worst days here, but East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has lightened the load.”
Living with sickle cell brings constant pain and discomfort, but Bryan always has a smile on his face and has a gift for making others feel welcome. The teenager loves basketball, playing with LEGOS, and participating in his high school band. In the past two years Bryan has had to refrain from physical activities because of recent hip replacements due to the disease. This setback, he says, is only temporary.
This year, Bryan was chosen as the 2019 Children’s Miracle Network Champion.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has partnered with CMN to raise funds and awareness for sick and injured children in our community since 1983. Bryan will be featured in regional CMN campaigns as a spokesperson for Children’s Hospital and sickle cell disease. One day he hopes to return to Children’s Hospital as a nurse to help kids like him.
A Challenging Time
When he was 13, Bryan was in the middle of his battle with Sickle Cell Disease, but didn't let the challenges get him down: