In 2017 we first featured Za'Quis and his family on how blood donors are helping him live a healthy and happy life while dealing with Sickle Cell. We recently caught up with his family to see how Za'Quis is doing.
1. How did blood transfusions impact your family’s life?
Za’Quis has continued to live a healthy and happy childhood because of the time our Sickle Cell Heroes took to donate blood at the time he needed it.
2. How did you help your child understand what he or she was going through? How did you explain blood transfusions?
With the help of our Sickle Cell Hero whose blood was used in his only transfusion at the age of 2, we have encouraged and continue to encourage Za’Quis and his siblings that the small things are what make heroes. Za’Quis’s current health is the product of an unsung hero’s selflessness to share a little blood and time to help.
Za’Quis is already a hero, however, him knowing that a Sickle Cell Hero helped him in his time of need enforces the thought that he’s even more of a hero for children/people like him.
3. What are some of the most exciting or memorable things you have experienced since we first shared your story?
Za’Quis will be completing 3rd grade this year. We traveled to Carolina Beach, NC, and he has made plans (with his mom’s help) for his family to travel to Georgia, Miami, and possibly Jamaica soon.
4. How has your life changed since we featured your testimonial?
We continue to care for, educate and advocate for Za’Quis, and other family and friends who suffer from the condition that not everyone can identify with or relate to and understand. OneBlood and Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency (PHSSCA) have made it possible to magnify a platform for patients like Za’Quis and to help express the need for blood donors and understanding when dealing with people who have his disease.
5. What would you say to our incredible community of blood donors?
Thank you. You are the unsung heroes who go unnoticed, along with the frontline workers. You selflessly donate your time and health to people and children like my son and help families continue to create memories with their loved ones. Regardless of the circumstances behind a person needing what you have, you help these families create memories that are worth more than the most expensive jewels riches could buy. THANK YOU FOREVER AND INTO INFINITY!
6. What would you tell someone who has never donated blood?
If you are healthy enough to do so, take the time to donate your gold (blood) to help families continue creating memories. You are also helping others create these precious memories that anyone who’s caring for a loved one needing blood is thankful for, whether they are able to say thank you or not.
7. Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for other families experiencing a similar situation to what you went through?
Pray and uplift each other during your time of need. Ensure you are there for your family first because it gets so easy to overwhelm yourself with life’s demands. Be there for your FAMILY and LOVED ONES first and foremost, and the rest can be prayed about and will work itself out.