BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A local teen who grew up with sickle cell anemia is having the chance to forget about her disease and live a normal life.
Marie Flipps, 14, said her life has been greatly affected by sickle cell anemia, which causes the partially formed red blood cells to stick together, affecting blood flow.
“I would have back pain. I would have headaches, my head would hurt, my legs. Everything would ache and stuff,” Flipps said.
Flipps said she would constantly be in and out of the hospital, preventing her from doing normal activities.
“Like, just to go out and do things, go out and stuff, go out and eat because I’ll always be in the hospital,” Flipps said.
Almost a year ago, she went through surgery to help cure the condition.
“She was fortunate enough at this point to qualify for a bone marrow transplant, which she had just a little over a year ago,” said Jennifer Spaulding, Flipps’ gaurdian. “Her older brother Isaiah was able to be her donor.”
Fipps, alongside her family and friends, was able to attend the Water Circus. She was a ticket giveaway winner from the Casey Cares Foundation, which helps critically ill children attend events with their loved ones.
“I’m just happy to be in this moment, right now,” Flipps said. “Trying to establish what normal life should be like.”
For more information on the Casey Cares Foundation, visit their website.