As a community coordinator I often get asked by individuals and/or groups who have been inspired by something they have recently learned about Sickle Cell: “What can we do to help”? This has always been such a difficult question to answer. Sometimes it is hard to connect people who care with the work you are so passionate about.
Yet this past weekend, during our 2nd Annual Adult Sickle Cell Retreat I was able to see the power of such a connection. We had an incredible time! Partly because simply putting a bunch of amazing folks in a house for 2 ½ days most always equates to GOOD TIMES! It was so cool to see hugs, laughter, and lots and lots of dancing. And yet for me what equally made this weekend so dynamic was the many community partners who gave of their time and skills to make this weekend really special for our adults with Sickle Cell.
Special thank you to the Seattle Cancer Care Sickle Cell Team and UW ER Medical Director, Dr. Makela, for showing up present, for helping us prepare a meal, for eating with us, and for being will to engage in an honest conversation about effective partnerships between provider and patient. Our time with you that night was honest and much needed. Thank you for all the work you do to make Sickle Cell a manageable disease.
Thank you to Green Lake Presbyterian and Sanctuary Church members who kept our tummies full all weekend long. Thank you to those who dropped off desserts at the door before we even arrived. Thank you to those who came and hung out with us for a bit–the food was amazing!
Thank you Ruth for educating us about how to manage Sickle Cell through alternative methods and nutrition. Thank you for reminding us that meditation doesn’t have to be super mysterious, it is just about breathing deeply. Thank for your being relevant and telling us we can still eat our bacon as long as it’s uncured. (smile)
Thank you to Anna, who came and provided FREE massages for 3 days. Your skills helped Joe to touch his toes and move his back and provide priceless dancing entertainment that we will never be able to forget!
This weekend taught me about the power of community. That together we can make impact in world around us but also in small ways in one single house over one weekend. Together we can bring love and laughter to group of adults who deal with pain everyday of their lives. Thank you for your contribution this past weekend. We, the Task Force, look forward to finding more and more opportunities to work alongside each other in the future.
Metro Seattle Sickle Cell Task Force