A California mother who recently relocated to Las Vegas said she struggled to find support and resources for her child with sickle cell disease. So she decided to start a new organization so that other parents would not face the same challenges.
Three year old Gia Adams loves to rider her scooter around her Henderson home with all the energy you would expect from a toddler. But what you don't see is that Gia has sickle cell, a genetic blood disease that primarily affects people of African descent. Her mother, Gina Glass, said looks can be deceiving.
" A lot of people with sickle cell. They look just like me and you, " Glass said. "So you can't see that they are sick until something happens and they end up in the hospital."
And that is where Gia ended up not long after they moved to Southern Nevada. Her mother took her to the nearest hospital when the child suddenly came down with a high fever.
"We let them know she had sickle cell, " said Glass. "But they had probably never had to deal with it before. So they offered her Tylenol and an antibiotic shot and sent her home."
Dr. Dahlia Wachs explains how the disease impacts the lives of people who have it.
"People with sickle cell have painful crises," said Wachs "They also have anemia where they don't have enough blood flow. They are tired. They get jaundiced where they look yellow in color. And they get frequent infections."
It turned out that Gia had a serious case of pneumonia and had to be hospitalized.
That experience led Gina to establish the Dreamsickle Kids Foundation.
"I found a lot of people out here who have been out here for a long time don't even know those resources exist," said Glass.
Support from the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation helped her get Dreamsickle off the ground. They are helping sponsor the foundation's first event over the weekend at Lorenzi Park.
"Being that the trait is as common as 1 in 13. And sickle cell disease being as common as 1 in 365
there's a lot more people than we know that have it. So, in a community like ours you need to be able to get that support.," said Wachs. "We are seeing more and more Hispanics. We are seeing Asian descent. And also middle eastern descent."
"It's just really important to have people around who actually know and understand what you are going through," Glass said.
The Sickle Cell Walk will be held Saturday September 22 at Lorenzi Park. The park is located at 3343 West Washington Avenue. It begins at 9:30 a.m. You can register at HTTP://Dreamsicklekids.Eventbrite.Com