In third grade, he received his first of many blood transfusion to treat a pain crisis. It was always difficult explaining to his classmates why he missed school, but the transfusions provided much needed relief from the pain.
“It was just one of those things that made you kind of different from everybody else,” he said.
A pain crisis his senior year of high school meant another stay at Atrium Health's Levine Children’s and another transfusion. Kenneth missed the homecoming dance, sporting events and a lot of other things that year. Despite that, he doesn’t let sickle cell get the best of him.
“It’s hard,” he said. “But you just live your life. You make your story your story.”
Kenneth is continuing his education and volunteers with Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency. He works to give back to the community that has always provided him and his sister with the lifesaving blood products they need.
“Thank you to those who give blood,” he said. “Because without you, who knows when my time may end.”