Good News: Donation to fight Sickle Cell

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Given the occasion, Sydnei Richardson made what you would call a very well visit to the Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children's Hospital of Savannah.

Sydnei became aware of Sickle Cell before she could say it, diagnosed at the age of two and treated at the children's hospital at Memorial most of her life.

Now a high school senior taking college classes, she had to be there when the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation presented a check for $30,000 to the Sickle Cell program at the Willett Children's Hospital.

"This donation is greatly appreciated because Sickle Cell disease is not a disease that's on the front page a lot," said Sydnei "It's hidden, So, everyone with Sickle Cell in Savannah should appreciate this check."

"This check will help us a lot," added Dr. John Whittle, the director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell program at the Willett's Children's Hospital. "Sickle Cell disease is not a boutique illness. People don't know about it, there's not a lot of money coming from it, the children suffering from don't receive a lot of recognition for their suffering. This will allow us to offer support to families, like paying general bills and, also, for education for Sickle Cell and to send these kids to summer camp."

Sydnei will be attending that camp for the eighth year this summer and credits it for helping her live a full life with Sickle Cell.

"Sickle cell camp taught me that I'm not alone and other people struggle just like I do," she said. "Actually, I feel better as a person after going to camp."

Thursday's donation will help a lot of kids at the children's hospital feel better.

"They made something really traumatic a little bit smoother for us," said Tracy Richardson, Sydnei's mother. "And they made it a little easier to deal with."

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