IMMUCOR Chose Tina Kay as the Sickle Cell Patient Face and story to use for their 2017 campaign!

Tina Kay also spoke at the annual American Association of Blood Banks conference in San Diego, CA as the focus for Immucor was Sickle Cell Disease and blood donation for patients like Tina Kay.

 

Huge Blood Drive for Fire Stations in Birmingham, AL

On Tuesday June 14-Thursday June16 from 9:30am-2:30pm at the West Fitness Center (4712 Avenue W Ensley, Birmingham, AL 35208) Fire Fighters will compete to see who can get the most blood donated!  Come out and support the fire station closest to you by donating blood on behalf of a Fire House in Birmingham, AL.  The fire station with the most blood donated will get a big barbecue dinner.  If you can't give blood donate funds by going to http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8xNY8    .

Right now blood centers are at an all time low!  Please consider becoming a blood donor for life.  For every blood donation 3 lives are saved.  People like me who live with Sickle Cell Disease need blood on a monthly basis to help reduce the pain and provide people with sickle cell disease a better quality of life.  Every 3 seconds someone in the United States needs blood and out of every 7 people that enter the hospital 1 in 7 will need blood.  Because I have so many antibodies it takes 3-4 days sometimes to find blood for me.  You never know one day it may be you or someone you love in need of blood and the blood has to already be on the shelf ready to be donated to someone.  Save a life donate blood!

Brookwood Hospital Hangs Artwork For Black History Month

If you haven't been to Brookwood Hospital to view the "Sickle Cell Disease On Canvas" traveling art exhibit this is one you do not want to miss!  Tina Kay once again has curated an exhibit she founded that tells the story of individuals living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).  This is the first time ever an exhibit has been displayed for and by SCD patients at Brookwood Hospital honoring Black History Month!  Tina Kay is moving this traveling exhibit where people welcome and are open to see something new.  If you have not seen this exhibit, you need to make time to view and support it! 

SECOND ANNUAL “SICKLE CELL DISEASE ON CANVAS”
Sickle Cell Disease Patients and Family Members Find Therapy and Relief through the arts

..Birmingham, Alabama is not a city known as a place where the arts are flourishing however, people living with horrific a blood disorder known as Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) have found solace through the arts right here in the city they call home. Last year the Civil Rights Institute teamed up with a few artists living with Sickle Cell Disease in an effort to bring more awareness to SCD during September, the awareness month for SCD. Not only were people living with the actual disease, known as sicklers, invited to create art work but family members, caregivers, and people who are involved in SCD patients’ lives daily as a way to release tension, anger, and pain through art therapy. We are happy that once again this year the Civil Rights Institute has opened its doors to educate, expose, and allow the public to experience an exhibit that focuses on Sickle Cell Disease. The reception and program will take place on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 6pm and it is free to the public. This exhibit can be seen at the Civil Rights Institute until December 31, 2015.

The goal is to introduce all genres of the arts, but specifically visual arts to teach sicklers and everyone involved in the lives of a sickler how to focus on the arts and how to find a happy place while creating art (visually), making art (through sound), engaged in art (though dance), and taking art to another level (through poetry). These genres would allow a sickler to release endorphins, which is a feel good chemical found within the body that stops the pain, so just for a small space in time while enjoying some form of art. Endorphins and art therapy have been used for years and researchers have found the pain to subside for just a little while so the endorphins can do naturally as the many pain pills a sickler consumes daily just to live a somewhat normal life trying to manage the pain.

One of the featured artists, Peter Hall, found that submerging himself into the arts has opened up new and different doors for himself as he perfected his passion, love, and talent of art. He not only shares his art but teaches other sicklers how taking your mind off of the pain within by focusing on creating something beautiful may allow one to live. He often asks sicklers as he teaches, “What is normal? What is art? Is it perfect? Can you use your imagination?” He believes anyone can create their own version of art because like most sicklers, art is not perfect!

We are happy that other African American museums around the country are interested in this exhibit becoming a traveling exhibit, as we continue to educate, expose, and engage the public about this terrible inherited blood disorder, sickle cell disease, while we teach other sicklers how to engage and enjoy the arts along the way.

"Sickle Cell Disease on Canvas" Art exhibits and Paint Parties!

Paint Parties are coming to a city near you during the month of August!  All artwork created by those living with SCD will go into African American Museums across the country in September (Sickle Cell Awareness Month).  Tina Kay Hughes is the curator of these exhibits "Sickle Cell Disease On Canvas".  You can find the exhibits in the galleries of Gallery One (Jackson, MS), Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL), Apex Museum (Atlanta, GA), and 2 more to be added.  Please go to the Events Page to learn more about the paint parties for patients and family members and when the exhibits will hang in the various African American Art Museums. 

Several High Schools in the Birmingham area have accepted the challenge to determine which high school can get the most blood donated by students, parents, alumni, and the community!  The high schools who have accepted the challenge are:  Huffman High School, Parker High School, Bessemer City High School, Holy Family High School, Ramsay High School, Carver High School, Wenonah High School, Woodlawn High School, and Midfield High School.  Each school has a leadership team made up of students that will lead their school in working as one (the student body) and reaching out to their community (parents, politicians, alumni, and churches) to help increase the number of blood donors who give on behalf of their school.  

The question is "ARE YOU WILLING TO BLEED FOR YOUR SCHOOL?" Each bag of blood donated by a donor is split up into 3 units for 3 people....1 person donating blood can save 3 lives....So far our children in the Birmingham area have saved close to 1000 lives Here is how we are panning out with the blood drive competition:
Carver High School 54
Ramsay High School 32 with additional dates of December 2nd & 3rd
Holy Family High 21
Woodlawn High 50
Wenonah High 42
Parker High School is scheduled for December 4
Huffman High School (no date set)
Jackson Olin High School 30
Midfield High School (no date set)
Bessemer City High scheduled for November 3
Fairfield High School scheduled for November 6 (but not apart of the competition)

For those schools who had a blood drive in September you can host another drive in December (there must be 56 days between the date of blood drives at any school). If your school does not fall within this 56 day time period, your school can host as many blood drives at different locations that are accessible for all students, preferably within the community of the high school. Which high school will win, if your high school does not have a student leadership team in place for the blood drives talk to your principals & have them contact Tina Kay or Sherman Collins.

Don't tell me how bad our kids are, give them a goal, give them incentive, give them a chance and they are saving lives! BAM! So now what are you adults going to do as parents of children attending Birmingham schools and as Alumni...The blood drive competition goes until Dec 31, 2015....Adults use our children as examples and you donate blood too on behalf of your high school! We will announce the winning school when the kids return to school after the Christmas break!  The winning high school will receive a pep rally from 95.7Jamz along with a trophy presentation, and media coverage.  We are only using LIFE SOUTH COMMUNITY BLOOD CENTERS so if you are interested in setting up a blood drive through Operation Push For Blood please contact me!  Please visit Facebook Page Operation Push For Blood for updates!  We hope to not only save lives but create a generation of young people who will donate blood for the remainder of their lives.

Resolution for the NAACP to make Sickle Cell Disease one of their National Health Initiatives!

Tina Kay authored a resolution for the National NAACP to consider making Sickle Cell Disease one of its national health initiatives!  The resolution was accepted by the National NAACP Resolution Committee and now it will go before the delegates at the NAACP National Convention in July.  In the coming weeks watch this website to stay abreast of the plan of action for the SC community and how you can help.  On World Sickle Cell Day, June 19, 2015 we as a community will use social media to our advantage to make our voices and stories be heard to convince the NAACP that SCD is relevant and we need help to gain our civil rights as SCD patients.  Stay tuned for what's next for the SC Community to stage a campaign so that we operate with 1 Voice and 1 Goal together as 1; its the only way we will be heard! 

********Attention, Attention!  The resolution was passed by the delegates at the NAACP National Convention***********

My Calling

This journey through this thing called life has caused me to pause and take inventory of what’s important and how God wants to use me. God has placed me on a journey of being to an advocate, one who speaks and writes on behalf of those who feel they are living with a disease that causes them to be removed from society at times and left to suffer in silence alone.

Advocacy 

What's Happening

The mission I’ve been given is to be a voice for the voiceless, for those living with Sickle Cell Disease, who are “sickle silent”. As a result I often organize and participate in various events that bring awareness to sickle cell disease. Please take a moment to look at some of the upcoming events in which I am involved because I need your support so desperately. Additionally, if you would like to volunteer to help with any event please contact me.

Events & News ›

On My Mind

I have a passion for writing and putting pen to paper as a way of release. Living with sickle cell disease is similar to riding on an emotional roller coaster. The ups and downs of life caused by an invisible disease with no cure often leaves me with a lot to say. Writing is therapeutic and allows me to help myself and others through the good, bad, and indifferent.

My Blog › 

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