Sydnee is currently a fourth grader at Westside Elementary School and her favorite activities are basketball, football and gymnastics. She also loves to read, especially “The Boxcar Children” book series.
A seemingly normal life from the outside, Sydnee is a 9-year-old living with sickle cell anemia, a disease that causes her red blood cells to contort into a sickle shape, leaving her body with a shortage of healthy red blood cells.
Sydnee specifically suffers from hemoglobin SS disease, the most common and severe type of sickle cell disease. Hemoglobin SS disease occurs when a child inherits copies of the hemoglobin S gene mutation from both parents, and Sydnee has been living with it since she was three months old.
However, Sydnee is doing more than battling this disease — she is using her voice to spread awareness.
In September 2020, during National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Sydnee thought of a creative way to share her health journey and express gratitude.
“I decided to make videos and share what sickle cell had meant to me and to thank the nurses and doctors,” Sydnee said.
Sydnee’s mom, Dasaisha Murphy, recorded a video of Sydnee every day for 30 days. Her goal was to bring awareness to her mom’s Facebook friends about the sickle cell signs and symptoms, and provide a look into her everyday life.