“Do your best! Don't give up! Be loved, and love back!” This is what LJ says to encourage kids with sickle cell disease — kids like him. LJ is an advocate for others with the condition (also called sickle cell anemia), fighting to endure the physical, emotional and mental pain of this disease.
LJ was diagnosed with sickle cell disease as a baby. His mother, Ashley, saw initial symptoms just before his first birthday. He had pain in his abdomen, constantly cried, was stressed and had a hard time breathing. LJ began treatments at several hospitals and centers, including Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware.
Now, at just 6 years old, LJ is serving his community as a Young Heroes ambassador for the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Like most Young Heroes — and 6-year-olds — LJ is an active kid. He enjoys activities like basketball, baseball, football, soccer and playing with his dog, Chloe. He also likes to eat. His favorite foods are pizza and macaroni and cheese.
“LJ has grown to be a phenomenal young man," says Ashley. LJ’s mom says he’s outspoken and community service-oriented — as well as determined, driven and active with his treatment.
“We are so thankful for the care and support we receive from Nemours to help LJ navigate this disease,” she adds.