Sickle Cell is blood disease that affects many African-Americans and unfortunately causes death. On top of that, not many people are aware of the disease and how to help people with it.
Gail Campbell Woolley suffered from the disease and wrote a memoir called Soar: A Memoir about it. She died before it was released, but her husband Howard Woolley finished and released the book to help others.
“In the last few years of her life she felt like the story of sickle-cell had not been told and that there was a need to raise awareness of the disease,” explained Woolley. “She told me candidly in the last year of her life, ‘I want to eradicate that disease.’”
Woolley and his wife established the Gail Campbell Woolley Fund for Project Echo to raise awareness and research the disease.
“Project Echo is a worldwide movement started by a Doctor in New Mexico originally to eradicate Hepatitis C but it’s used for other diseases as well,” explained Woolley. “At John Hopkins, they’re using it to export out into the larger medical community best practices on how to treat sickle-cell patients…If you go to John Hopkins with a sickle-cell crisis you don’t go to the regular emergency room you go to an infusion center where people are dedicated to treating sickle cell patients.”
Woolley was adamant about giving advice to people who are currently going through this with a family member.
“I would tell them to be persistent, to be diplomatic, to use all of their persuasion skills to engage the medical professional to help them,” expressed Woolley. “I would advise them to make sure that someone is with the patient most of the time during their stay.”
He continued, “I was pushed back on by doctors and nurses but frankly, I was like that’s my wife in that hospital room and you’re going to take care of her to the best of your abilities.”
If you’d like to read this book and support the awareness of sickle-cell, head over to Amazon.com or your nearest Walmart to pick up a copy of Soar: A Memoir.
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