Over the past decade, WTUG has made a constant effort to raise awareness of many ailments that plague our community.

We've participated in walks for diabetes, urged our listeners to know their HIV/AIDS status, and raised money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

On a personal level, I've reached out to numerous mothers with children in the NICU for various reasons simply to offer support because no one really knows how difficult of a time that is for a mother than a present father or another parent who has gone through it. I've also worked to raise money for Sickle Cell Disease research by participating in the "Sick of It" lip gloss and lipstick campaign.

Over the years, though they're usually quiet about it, I've watched my pastor's family deal with SSD. My heart has ached for the children who are warriors at battle against the disease as well as their parents, who've had to be strong for the children through crises and hospitalizations. I've watched them hold fast to their faith through their ordeal, and much more.

So, it brought me great joy to see that Jori and Jarren Smith have launched a foundation, aimed at bringing awareness to Sickle Cell Disease.

By participating in events concerning Sickle Cell Disease, I've come to know that it affects many more people than I thought.  I've learned that I even have family members who deal with it.

It's a major feat for a seasoned adult with a dis-ease to take charge of it and live freely.  So, it's even more remarkable when younger people take steps to alleviate the concerns of future generations.

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