Save A Life!

Operation Push For Blood was created by Tina Kay because she was born with an inherited blood disorder (sickle cell disease) that has no cure and she needs blood often.  After needing blood and there was none available for 4 days she decided to make this one of her platforms, blood donation.   Many people don't realize that genetically it’s best that people who belong to the same ethnic group donate blood to one another to help decrease the number of complications that could possibly com along with using blood from another ethnic group.  In layman’s terms, it is best to receive blood from someone in your race (because more times than not there is a genetic match).  With blood transfusions and blood exchanges being common therapies for people like Tina Kay living with SCD, more African American blood donors are needed!  Tina Kay works closely with Life South Community Blood Centers who provide Alabama with approximately 95% of the blood in Alabama, because their specialty is blood and nothing else.  She's an amazing person according to Life South check it out http://www.lifesouth.org/donate/patient-stories/.

Tina has teamed up with First United Community Foundation (501c3), the NAACP (Alabama Conference) & Summit Media Group to get 50,000 African Americans to donate blood by December 31, 2015.  This campaign is in remembrance of our forefathers who shed blood and died for our rights during 'Bloody Sunday', so we are asking today’s generation to donate blood to save the lives of those who look like you.  However, if you cannot donate blood you can donate funds to help the blood donation campaign to help us reach the goal of 50,000 African Americans donating blood by the end of this year, however, donating both ways would be ideal!  Are you interested in entering your organization into the kick off festival to compete against other adult (civic, social, and professional) organizations?  All you have to do is email oppush4blood@gmail.com to enter your organization.  We as a people need to become blood donors for the remainder of your life, so that you can save many lives!

 It is sad but true that the percentage of blood donated by black people is not filling the need, meaning more black people need to donate blood.  So, Tina Kay created a movement to educate, engage, and encourage blood donation in her community.  Most times Tina will use her own money to host blood drives in the form of competitions, challenges, festivals, events, and town hall forums to help increase the amount of donated blood.  She works with schools, churches, non-profits, organizations, and events to set up blood drives.  She really needs your help!  Studies have found that 37% of the population can donate blood but only 10% donate and less than 1% of that 10% are African Americans, if you are reading this and you do not donate blood on a regular basis now is your chance to make a difference by donating a kind contribution by visiting www.fundrazr.com (Donate Blood or Donate Funds!)http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8xNY8http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8xNY8.

 Did you know every 2 seconds someone in the US needs blood, 1in 7 people who are admitted into the hospital will need blood, 1 blood donation can save the lives of 3 people, if someone started giving blood at the age of 17 years old until they were 76 years old, thousands of lives would be saved, and 4.5 million people will need blood every year.  In order to save lives and provide a better quality of life for others needing blood we need your generous monetary donation!  You never know, it could be your child or you in need of blood one day!

The kick off competitive festival for this campaign will begin Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 10am-6pm in Avondale Park (Birmingham, AL) see www.tinakay.net, Operation Push For Blood on Facebook, or Arts For Life Festival also on Facebook.  If you would like to enter your group or high school into the kick off festival (blood donation) competition or if you would like to host a blood drive please email oppush4blood@gmail.com.  

It's Time For A Change!

I need your help!  Sickle Cell Disease is relevant, it is a priority in our community, and there are too many people suffering needlessly alone without anyone to come to their aid for support.  All over the country there are walks, runs, galas, and social gatherings in the name of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) but still so many suffer every day!  Did you know there has never been a census taken to determine how many people are living with SCD or even the trait?  There is no protocol in the hospitals around this country for all emergency room staff and doctors to handle and treat SCD patients with the level of care they would give to someone in their own family.  And truth be told there is no cure for SCD, but for years we keep hearing a cure is on the horizon; bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant have cured maybe 1-5% of the SCD population at best.  I’ve sat on my hands long enough and I’ve tried to allow others who are paid to ensure someone like me who’s in the hospital all the time, hurting all the time, can’t get my thoughts together sometimes, and wait for the pain to subside so I can educate whoever wants to learn about this horrible disease.  But you know what I’ve decided I can tell my story better than anyone else can, I can share my yesterdays that are filled with hospital stays with others better than anyone else can, and I can make change for others like me a priority because I awake everyday with SCD and I lay my head down at night with this invisible blood disorder I inherited at birth.

So, I created a resolution asking that the National NAACP make SCD a priority by including it as a national health initiative for the NAACP.  Please read the resolution that can be found at www.tinakay.net under Advocacy at the bottom of the page or on Facebook go to Tina Kay page and you will find it in the left margin as a note.  Once you’ve read the resolution I implore you to call the national NAACP at (410) 580-5777 or toll free at (877) NAACP-98 and express your strong desire and the utmost urgency for the Resolution Committee to accept the “Resolution for Sickle Cell Disease To Become A Health Initiative of the NAACP” sponsored by Metro Birmingham, AL #5006. We really need the resolution to pass the resolution committee who is now deciding which resolutions will go to the convention and which ones will not; and we need this resolution to make it to the national convention this summer.  When using social media please use hashtag #SCDPriority on all forms of social media.

Ask anyone and everyone you know, especially members of the NAACP and elected officials in your area to make calls or send messages also in favor of the resolution. Be sure to read the resolution before you make any calls or reach people through email and social media. The resolution in its entirety can be found as a note on the Facebook page of Tina Kay (the author of the resolution). It can also be found on Tina Kay’s website advocacy at the very bottom. www.tinakay.net  We can do this as a community together! Speaking with 1 Voice, 1 Purpose, and 1 Goal in mind! Share this with everyone you know in our community and with your local NAACP unit (chapters) and with anyone who care about people. 

There are African proverbs that we should pay attention to:

  • If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

  • Unity is strength, division is weakness. ~ Swahili proverb

  • Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb

    Working together as our fore fathers did in this our city, Birmingham, AL, change took place.  If we could only work with the same type of attitude, we can invoke change, help those who are helpless, and provide many with better tomorrows.

    By Tina Kay, NAACP Health Coordinator for Alabama

It's Hard Sometimes!

It's hard living a life not knowing if you will wake up with all parts of your body working....its hard waking up to a constant pain that never ceases, its hard waking up and laying there 30-45 more minutes some days hours waiting for the pain to calm so I can sit up on my own in bed...its hard waking up and not being able to put my feet on the floor when I want too....its hard to look at my baby girl who's first words every morning are 'I Love You Mommie" and mask the pain the best way I know how so her little 4 year old mind is not worried about Mommie during her day at school, it's hard going to bed at night not knowing if I will open my eyes when the morning sun rises to a new day.....These are the worries of a woman living with sickle cell disease who needs blood from other people because my blood is like black crude oil that clogs my veins and arteries and the red blood cells don't exist but 14 days but they have a tendency of wreaking havoc where they do not belong.....I'm a Beautiful Black Woman living with a disease that does not care to know my name, my goals, my aspirations, or that I want to watch my little girl grow into a beautiful woman.....
You can help me by donating funds http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8xNY8
then on April 18, 2015 from 10am-6pm Donate Blood!                                                                                                                                                                       
****If only you could feel the pinch in the shoes I must wear everyday, you just might refuse to walk!  But I refuse to give up because no matter the pain I'm still a Mommie who has to find a way to walk in the shoes God has given me!

Real Talk

A girl like me needs blood every now and then, not just any kind of blood; I need donated blood!  It’s not because I did anything to cause myself to need blood I just happened to be born with sickle cell disease.  One of the only successful therapies for people living with sickle cell disease is blood transfusion or a blood exchange to help sicklers live a better quality of life, as well as a longer life!

 

Most normal red blood cells found in someone without SCD have red blood cells that last 120 days and work as a vehicle taking oxygen throughout the body; to the organs, tissue, bones, and brain.  It also has the job of picking up carbon dioxide and other bad gases to remove them from the body.  So think of blood as a vehicle with red blood cells sitting on the front and back seats being dropped off at different points throughout the body.  While dropping off the blood the gases are being thrown into the trunk to take it away from the body and discard.  Well those living with SCD  have red blood cells that last in the body for only 14 days therefore, the body is not getting the oxygen needed that is found in blood.  The vehicle in the body of someone living with SCD, the red blood cells, can be thought of as an old raggedy lemon of a car that will break down at any time.  So the blood does not get to all of the parts of the body and where there is no oxygen, there is death.  So, for a better quality of life and a longer life it is imperative that those living with SCD like me receive blood donated from people who are gracious enough to share their blood with people like me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Yes, a Girl like me needs blood every now and then; your blood!  When living with SCD, it is common to get blood transfusions and exchanges on a regular basis!  However, the best blood for an African American is the blood donated by another African Americans.  This holds true because genetically it is best to receive blood from someone whose genes align with one another.  This helps to prevent rejection and adverse reaction from a blood transfusion or exchange.  Unfortunately, only 37% of the population is eligible to donate blood, 10% actually donate and of that 10%, less than 1% are African Americans.

 

Blood is not only needed by those living with SCD but anybody!  Statistics say 1 in 7 people who go to the hospital for help will need blood.  Every 2-4 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.  More than 41,000 people need blood every day.  Without oxygen rich blood, the body does not get the oxygen that’s needed to survive.  And that is with any living thing, oxygen is needed. 

 

I am so grateful for the gracious people during my lifetime who have given a piece of themselves so I can live a longer life and have a better quality of life.  You may only know and see me as a pretty face, made up with makeup, and I love jewelry, clothes & shoes; but my appearance is about the only thing I can control in this life! When I awake each morning I count it as another blessing to do something for somebody else, the way others have given to me.  You see I was born with Sickle Cell Disease, not because I did anything, my parents had no clue in the 70's that they both had the trait that caused me to live with this awful disease.  SCD feels like a war is going on inside my body and I can't stop it!  So here I am, in pain most every day of my life, asking you who may be reading this to donate blood or donate funds....You can make a difference and you have the opportunity to save a life if only you would donate from the heart.  Help me and organizations like First United Community Foundation, the Alabama NAACP Conference, and Summit Media get 50,000 African Americans donate blood by December 31, 2015.  This campaign comes as a result of the 50 year anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”.  So many bled, were beaten, and even died for the rights we often take for granted these days but I want to encourage you to give blood every 60 days if you can starting April 18, 2015 at the kick-off event for the campaign “Arts For Life Festival” in Avondale Park from 10am-6pm.  For more information visit www.tinakay.net, Arts For Life page on Facebook, and Operation Push For Blood page on Facebook. 

By Tina Kay, NAACP Health Coordinator for Alabama

Donate Blood!

Operation Push For Blood was created by Tina Kay because she was born with an inherited blood disorder (sickle cell disease) that has no cure and she needs blood often.  After needing blood and there was none available for 4 days she decided to make this one of her platforms, blood donation.   Many people don't realize that genetically it’s best that people who belong to the same ethnic group donate blood to one another to help decrease the number of complications that could possibly com along with using blood from another ethnic group.  In layman’s terms, it is best to receive blood from someone in your race (because more times than not there is a genetic match).  With blood transfusions and blood exchanges being common therapies for people like Tina Kay living with SCD, more African American blood donors are needed!  Tina Kay works closely with Life South Community Blood Centers who provide Alabama with approximately 95% of the blood in Alabama, because their specialty is blood and nothing else.  She's an amazing person according to Life South check it out http://www.lifesouth.org/donate/patient-stories/.

Tina has teamed up with First United Community Foundation (501c3), the NAACP (Alabama Conference) & Summit Media Group to get 50,000 African Americans to donate blood by December 31, 2015.  This campaign is in remembrance of our forefathers who shed blood and died for our rights during 'Bloody Sunday', so we are asking today’s generation to donate blood to save the lives of those who look like you.  However, if you cannot donate blood you can donate funds to help the blood donation campaign to help us reach the goal of 50,000 African Americans donating blood by the end of this year, however, donating both ways would be ideal!  Are you interested in entering your organization into the kick off festival to compete against other adult (civic, social, and professional) organizations?  All you have to do is email oppush4blood@gmail.com to enter your organization.  We as a people need to become blood donors for the remainder of your life, so that you can save many lives!

 It is sad but true that the percentage of blood donated by black people is not filling the need, meaning more black people need to donate blood.  So, Tina Kay created a movement to educate, engage, and encourage blood donation in her community.  Most times Tina will use her own money to host blood drives in the form of competitions, challenges, festivals, events, and town hall forums to help increase the amount of donated blood.  She works with schools, churches, non-profits, organizations, and events to set up blood drives.  She really needs your help!  Studies have found that 37% of the population can donate blood but only 10% donate and less than 1% of that 10% are African Americans, if you are reading this and you do not donate blood on a regular basis now is your chance to make a difference by donating a kind contribution by visiting www.fundrazr.com (Donate Blood or Donate Funds!)http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8xNY8http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8xNY8.

 Did you know every 2 seconds someone in the US needs blood, 1in 7 people who are admitted into the hospital will need blood, 1 blood donation can save the lives of 3 people, if someone started giving blood at the age of 17 years old until they were 76 years old, thousands of lives would be saved, and 4.5 million people will need blood every year.  In order to save lives and provide a better quality of life for others needing blood we need your generous monetary donation!  You never know, it could be your child or you in need of blood one day!

The kick off competitive festival for this campaign will begin Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 10am-6pm in Avondale Park (Birmingham, AL) see www.tinakay.net, Operation Push For Blood on Facebook, or Arts For Life Festival also on Facebook.  If you would like to enter your group or high school into the kick off festival (blood donation) competition or if you would like to host a blood drive please email oppush4blood@gmail.com


Statistics Say!

Statistics show that by the end of our lives we would have spent six months at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, a year and a half looking for lost stuff, and get this, five years standing in lines.  All I can say is, “Wow”, what a colossal waste of time, talent, and resources.  As African Americans we also spend more money than any other race on hair and hair products, clothing and shoes, finger nails and eyelashes, and lastly cars.  All of which have no real value that can be passed along to your child.  We don’t apply ourselves in the areas where we have great talents but we occupy prisons in quite alarming rates.  Is it that we simply don’t know?  Or maybe we know and we choose to exist on earth not leaving any type of impression on society nor an inheritance for our children and their children.  My philosophy is ‘if you know better, then maybe you will do better.  But a pastor friend says that, “we are simply a lazy race of people.”

 

At some point, someone has to say, ‘I am breaking the generational curse that’s been on my family for years’.  Somebody has to wake up one day and say ‘this dish my family has been eating from for generations will stop today with me’, by breaking the plate and getting up from the table of wasteful thinking, useless time spent, and misuse of genius expertise.  We must think more of ourselves, realizing there is power within that caused us to be African kings and queens, survivors of slavery, and victorious Civil Rights warriors.  But don’t get it twisted the struggle is far from being over.  In order to break the cycle we must come to understand who we were (our history and our forefathers’ history), who we are today, and the possible destiny that gleans from us for tomorrow.  The only way we will know how to break the cycles that have been purposely imposed upon us causing us to remain enslaved is to realize your self-worth.  Can you believe that many think we will never be any more than what we are, who we are, and where we are simply because we don’t care about ourselves nor do we care about someone else that looks like me and you?  Pay attention, there are mental gymnastics still being played on us, so we will forget how to move past this place in order to be an awesome race of people who not only know the statistics, but also understand we have the power within that will cause us to make a change.

 

It starts at home!  What are you doing with your time, talents, and resources?  Are you sitting in front of the television doing nothing day after day?  What do you enjoy doing? How can you use your talents and time to become your own boss by starting your own business?  If you are going to hustle for somebody, you may as well hustle for you, your family, and something that you can call your own.  We are no longer slaves but we sure do act as if we have no freedom or liberty to make better choices for our lives.  However, more times than not we fall into this hole forgetting our history and the legacy left behind for us by those who fought and died so that we can call ourselves free.  Are we making  our forefathers or anyone for that matter proud, or are we just sitting around waiting for the time to pass by, letting the legacies put into place for us so many years ago just slip away?

 

It doesn’t matter what the statistics say, we’ve overcome gargantuan issues in the past and we can still overcome adversities today. How you may ask?  We must start one person at a time, one household at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one community at a time with a new mindset; that my life is worth more to me and my children than the frivolous things in life that have no value.  But it starts right now, at this very moment in time, today with you!  Let’s get it right and do for ourselves what we want others to do for us.  It’s time out for foolishness and it is time for creating legacies that will live on with our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  Let’s change those statistics and the way we operate as well as our mind set by investing in ourselves.

By Tina Kay, www.tinakay.net  National Sickle Cell Advocate, Speaker, and Patient, and the NAACP Health Coordinator for Alabama

Get Naked!

It was so nice to hear Richard Roundtree (the man we most know as Shaft, before Samuel Jackson) on Saturday evening, March 22, 2014 during a celebration to conclude a weeklong of events in remembrance of Fred Shuttleworth’s birthday.  This man that everyone knows as the original Shaft shared his story of living with cancer, breast cancer.  Many men have the mindset that breast cancer will never happen to them however, this type of thinking could possibly lead to death.  He found a lump in his breast in 1992 and the lump was found early enough to get the appropriate treatment and removal of lymph nodes. 

As Roundtree told his story he admitted that initially he did not want to share his experience with others until he realized people were dying.  At that point in his life he decided that he had to "Get Naked"; bearing all, letting the public into his life so that others may live, and becoming vulnerable to others opinions.  Roundtree did not allow any of these excuses to stop him from bearing all to the public.  His story is one of courage because most men would not "Get Naked" to show a doctor their breasts that may be riddled with cancer, let alone share the story of how they overcame breast cancer for FEAR of so many things.   As I sat in the audience and listened to his words, it rocked my soul because though I’ve never had cancer there is a disease that lies within me that is killing me slowly, but at the same time killing me faster than the average person.  So, I knew all too well what he meant when he referred to getting naked because I live with sickle cell disease.  I don’t own this horrible disease, nor did I give it permission to live inside me, I was born with this disease.

I decided that the God appointed campaign I’ve been working and leading from the front (and not the rear) required me getting naked to be a voice for the voiceless.  I understand to whom much is given, much is required and because I’ve been called to not just advocate but lead a movement and a group of people who live with the same disease as myself, that I had to “Get Naked”!  Please understand that it is time for many of us who have endured, remained steadfast, and did not give up in the midst of our own storms in life to "Get Naked" so that others may live.  Go stand before a mirror, because at the end of the day you have to live with yourself and keeping your testimony from others who are suffering, at their breaking point, lost due to fear, and ready to give up and throw in the towel, they need to see your layers come off to see for themselves that if someone else can make it through this thing, I can too!  The song says, “I’ve had my good days, and I’ve had my bad days but thank God that my good days, outweigh my bad days”. 

There are so many people in this world struggling with their own demons in so many areas of life.  People, “Get Naked” so that others can begin to believe that there is enough hope, faith and love for even them as they go through some bad places in life.  I dare you, double dog dare you to “Get Naked” so someone out there can glean from your experience and make a decision to fight through the storm.

By Tina Kay, www.tinakay.net, If you are looking for an inspirational speaker for your next event please email me at contact@tinakay.net.  Join me on May 17, 2014 at Ross Bridge for a luncheon for women.

Built For This

We can move through life so swiftly that we forget our primary reasons for being on this earth are to be a servant, help others along the way, and be some type of catalyst for positive change to take place. However, we second guess ourselves and wonder if the things we say and do even have any type of effect on anyone. It’s in that split second when we must make a crucial decision that we think to ourselves,” should I say or do this”? Life has a funny way of causing us to lose sight and comprehension of our end goal. So instead of doing what your first thought (or some may call it your first mind) tells you, because we have been built for that very moment, we tend to drop the ball we’ve been carrying for so long. Sometimes change can be right at the tip of your fingers or lounges, but instead we decide to hold back and essentially hold back an opportunity to make a huge difference in one person or many people’s lives.

 I love the commercial that says “we are built Ford tough”! We don’t realize how resilient, hard, and solid we really are; to the point of being able to endure tragedies, withstand losses, overcome scratches, live through bruising, and work through the dents along the way. But in the midst of being built in such a way we don’t realize our worth, value, or even the God given ability to move forward in spite of the bumps along the way. It is so sad but true that we need a magic eraser to erase all of the wrongs, the bad things, and the way of thinking so that the growth is not stunted and forward movement continues to take place. However, God can and will use the most unlikely people, situations, and things to make even beautiful flowers come up strong through concrete cracks.

 In our ignorant, stupid, and scary way of thinking God reminds us that all is not lost because you did not take that leap of faith to ignite change. God always allows us (as long as we still have breath in our bodies) to start over by giving us many chances to do what He has appointed us individually to do and learn to manage our fears. Prayer is the only weapon we have that can help those silent screams of despair that lie deep within. We will stop dwelling on the what if’s, and come to the realization that they are only avenues to possibilities. The trick is knowing which avenue is the right one to take. Just remember that you have the best GPS on board and the brand is God so you don’t run into dead ends, rocky roads, traffic jams, and accidents. You are indeed built “God tough” for this journey no matter how long the journey may be, where God sends you, or what time of day you have to roll out- you are built for this! 

Handshakes Can Be Deadly

Can you refuse to shake someone’s hand to stay healthy? Think about it! People use their fingers and hands to do many things across the day like nose picking, using both ends of a toothpick in their mouth, digging in the ears, wiping themselves after using the restroom, rubbing pets, blowing their nose, unknowingly touching a sick person, and coughing and sneezing into their hands. If you give some thought to it, you just might develop a germ phobia for touching others.

 According to a study conducted by WebMd, more men than women leave the bathroom without washing their hands and those who wash their hands don’t wash correctly. Anytime you can wash your hands after any type of interaction it is best to wash your hands, but if you do not have the option to wash your hands then use alcohol based hand sanitizer or hand wipes.

 It seems that most people do not know how to wash their hands! Turn on the water to a very warm setting and use enough soap to create a lather then wash both sides (front and back) of the hands, along the sides (left and right), in between the fingers, under the finger nails, and don’t forget your wrists; this is the correct way to wash your hands. Use paper towels that you pulled out before hand and dry your hands also using the towel to open the door. Now, some places are trying to become environmentally conscience and cut costs by eliminating the paper towels and placing a hand dryer in restrooms. According to Daily Mail Online, dryers harbor microbes and can blast germs into atmosphere so your hands are dirty all over again. I suggest you take paper towels with you folded up nicely in your pocket or purse or if you notice there are no paper towels when you enter the restroom bring toilet tissue with you from your stall to dry your hands.

 One handshake can cause you many problems in the long run if the person you are greeting does not wash their hands. Try to keep your hands out of your face so you do not spread germs to your mouth, nose, or ears. President Obama got it right with the fist bump; some people do an elbow bump, but for your own health and those you love, wash your hands on a regular basis! Maybe the instructions from my Mama as a child still hold true today, “Just keep your hands to yourself.”

The Chronicles of a Woman Living With Sickle Cell Disease #1

My last hospital stay, I told the nurse I was planning a huge birthday party for my 40th birthday on January 4, 2014 and her response was, "I'm surprised you are still alive.  Many of you don't live that long." This comment not only made me think about my own mortality but it saddened my soul.  Many people today especially women who are turning 40 think of 40 as the new 20.  But if you spoke with this nurse who mis-spoke, because her knowledge of sickle cell disease is nil to none, it should've angered me.  This is an invisible disease that does not have a face nor the name of a person.  I was born with this disease, no fault of my own; I did nothing but be born into this world!  However, I don't dwell on the many issues, side effects, nor the complications that come with sickle cell disease because I love life too much and I want to live!

So, I've decided because I do live a healthy lifestyle and God is the captain of my life, and the keeper of my soul; words fitly spoken and unfitly spoken by others have no bearing on my life.  God has already set the course and the purpose for my life.  My job is to walk in my destiny no matter the age.  However, in spite of it all I could care less about what people think I should or should not be doing, because at the end of the day, no one has the ability to judge me nor take away my shine. 

I welcome the age of 40 with an open heart and open arms and I plan to bring my 40th birthday in on a high note.  I will release my CD project on the same day, January 4, 2014 and I hope you and the public at large will support and celebrate 'new beginnings' with me.  I will continue to put one foot in front of the other and show people that no matter your infirmity, it should not decide your station nor dis-count the mile marker achievements and celebrations in mine or your life.

On January 4, 2014 come celebrate with me starting at 7pm at Frames on the Green, 217- 20th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203.  There will be 2 DJ's, a band, red carpet, door prizes and little ole me turning 40 years old.  I will have my CD, my book, and my line of jewelry available for purchase.  And just to think when the doctors discovered I had sickle cell disease as a baby, they told my mother to have a hysterctomy so she would not have any more children like me!  All life should be celebrated no matter what!

By Tina Kay, www.tinakay.net, If you are interested in Tina speaking at your next event (gala, church, school, event, educational workshops, etc.) you can reach Tina at contact@tinakay.net, FB as Tina Kay, or twitter as TKay2006

You Gotta Take Chances!

Re-post from July 11, 2013

The only way to improve your own situation is to take multiple chances over a period of time....no matter how many non-responses you get, no matter how many doors shut in your face, no matter how many times it feels like you have egg on your face you still MUST, I say again MUST, keep pushing forward not allowing anyone to take your pride nor your positive attitude.....Biblically look at Joseph & Ruth.....Then look at the origin of the game monopoly (they were told no MANY MANY times) before they saw any success....they pushed on for years before the no's stopped....they did not give up hope or faith....what makes you any different?  Keep moving, never stopping, don't drop yo head cause then you can't see where you going.....The reality of it is we all have obstacles and trials that's on the real...but the attitude in which you move forward can slow you down (if you are pessimistic) or get you to your destination at the right time in the right place at kiros time (God's time), Selah!

Your Health is at stake!

Re-post from March 12, 2013

Many of us don’t realize that we have the potential to spread many things to others like our love, anger, opinions, and even our germs.  During my last hospital stay, two weeks ago, I saw my nurse suit up in what appeared to be full operation room gear, but I never asked her why.  I typically do not come out of my hospital room because I’m in so much pain (because of sickle cell disease), but I did have to leave my room for an x-ray, which is when I saw my nurse in the scary get up.  While being wheeled to x-ray there were doors to patients’ rooms loaded down with all types of gloves, masks, and suits.  I did not think much about the door, because you see these types of things in the hospital but you don’t see people actually using them.

So, after my release there was a report on National Public Radio about an epidemic that is being transferred person to person called norovirus.  In an average year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 21 million Americans get the norovirus, with classic stomach flu symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea and a recorded eight hundred usually die. Symptoms come on very suddenly, within hours after a person has been exposed to norovirus.  Because no one has immunity to this new strain, more Americans — perhaps 50 percent more, the CDC says — could become violently ill.

While the flu is spread mostly in the air by sneezes and coughs, along with a person needing to breathe in as many as 1,000 virus particles to get sick is regularly the case. Norovirus is far more contagious because it only takes 18 (instead of 1000) of the norovirus particles for a person to immediately become ill.  The germs that are left on hard surfaces from the flu can last two to four hours on hard surfaces outside your body.  However, the norovirus can survive and remain infectious for weeks on hard surfaces like grocery and department store credit card machines, ATM machines, door handles, grocery cart handles, escalator hand rests, and elevator buttons just to name a few.  Some precautions can be made according to medical experts that will help keep the norovirus away.  A few suggestions include: cleaning the house with bleach not just regular detergents. They also say that while hand sanitizers kill the flu virus, they are not effective at getting rid of the norovirus but, washing your hands with soap and water repeatedly to keep the norovirus off them is more effective.  Possibly even suiting up like my nurse did by utilizing the free masks and gloves provided in health care facilities.  Remember not to put your hands in your face, touch your eating utensils, serving utensils, or food without first washing your hands.  You may want to even look at ordering from menus in restaurants instead of going to the open food bars found in many chain restaurants where you eat all you want or even salad bars.

The CDC has even advised doctors not to be so quick and try not to prescribe antibiotics for the flu, sinus or ear infections and to allow the body to heal itself.  Doctors have been asked to take this course of treatment because this norovirus is actually a complicated super bug that does not have a cure and it is growing stronger and can be fatal!  So, I give you all this information for you to do what?  Hopefully, you will take heed to this warning of how our health is on the line, those people around us that we love are at risk, and people that you may or may not know who are not armed with this information can possibly be the enemy if they display flu like symptoms. Encourage your co-workers to stay home with any type of flu like virus.  Use bleach in your cleaning!  Wipe down your work area every day before sitting to start your day and even when you return from lunch with bleach wipes.  There is also aresole bleach spray that you can spray in the area or on the person who is displaying symptoms that may harm you.  Just think about how easy it is to spread this virus with no antibiotic or a cure; it can cause a ripple or domino effect in our homes, work place, churches, communities, and where ever you do business.  Don't be embarrassed to do what you need to do, to keep norovirus at bay.  Sneezing, coughing, nose blowing, flushed in the face, used tissues, and holding one's head are all red flags for you to be concerned  about that person doing these things in your vicinity! Suit up people, norovirus has declared war on our health!  (References:  NPR and ABC News).  By Tina Kay Hughes   www.tinakay.net

 

Sickle Cell Awareness 2

Re-post from October 1, 2012

Common questions asked of me are, “How do you get sickle cell disease”, “How long have you had sickle cell disease”, “Are you sure you have sickle cell disease, because you don’t look like it”.  As sure is the day is long and the sun comes up, believe me my body lets me know every day I live with sickle cell disease. 

  Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood condition that is not contagious.  The genes that are passed on from both parents to child determines what type of sickle cell disease the child will or will not inherit.  There are several types of sickle cell disease, but the most common are:  Hemoglobin SS, Hemoglobin SC, Thalasemia, and sickle cell trait.  

  It’s a matter of probability, chance, or a roll of the dice!  If both parents have the trait, they have 25% chance (1 out of 4) of having a baby with sickle cell disease.  If one parent has sickle cell disease and the other parent has the trait, they have a 50% chance (1 out of 2) of having a baby with Sickle Cell Disease.  If one parent has the disease and the other has no trait, each of their babies will have a trait.  When one parent has the trait and the other parent has no trait they have 50% chance (1 out of 2) of having a baby with Sickle Cell Trait and 50% chance of having a baby with no trait.  However, in all of the scenarios each time they get pregnant, they have the same chance, meaning the probability remains the same.

  Most states now perform a simple blood test called the hemoglobin electrophoresis when babies are born.  This particular test will tell the parents if the baby is a carrier of the trait or the disease.  The test also informs the doctor and parents if the baby has any other hemoglobin.  Believe it or not everyone who goes outside and tans brown should have this test done on them at least once in their lifetime by asking your doctor to perform it, or go to any Sickle Cell Foundation.  If you are already pregnant and you’ve never been tested for sickle cell disease you should ask your doctor to perform a test called amniocentesis to determine if your baby will be at risk of having sickle cell disease.  Most doctors perform this test on soon to be mothers if they fall into the category of possibly having sickle cell disease.  

  When children living with SCD become adults it is a hard transition because the pediatricians are more hands on with SCD patients.  The transition can sometimes difficult because it is hard to find a hematologist to build a relationship with immediately because the pediatrician has known the young adult their entire life.  Only recently have pediatricians insisted on sicklers finding a new SCD doctor (hematologist).

  This year we’ve decided to help someone who lives with SCD instead of moving forward with a red carpet event.  A 35 year old young man who is the father to three; he is a classroom parent on off days, he goes on just about all of his children’s field trips, helps with homework, and supports them all in extra curricular activities and sports.  He is a protective brother, helpful son, awesome friend to many because he never meets a stranger, and a giver when he has nothing for himself (financially, mentally, spiritually, nor physically). He has worked three jobs at one time to make ends meet.  It has been a struggle for him as he tries to work through the pain to make ends meet financially.  He was admitted into the hospital over three months ago and has not seen home since being admitted.  Many don’t understand that it is hard to keep a job when the pain you feel is like glass traveling through the veins.  He has endured many complications due to SCD including 2 strokes, many blood transfusions, loss of hearing, almost losing his eye sight, and infections he possibly contracted by working in the medical field.  This long stay in the hospital has left him with no ability to walk, he has lost 50 pounds or more.  At 6’8” he is known to most as the gentle giant, always making others laugh, never wanting anyone to feel down and sad.  His joking starts before he breaks down in tears because of the pain that many sicklers describe as glass traveling through the veins.  As I sit in his hospital room he cannot even make it out of bed on his own.  He has not seen his home, that needs so many repairs, in over 3 months because of this long stay in the hospital.

  As I thought about September being Sickle Cell Awareness month I decided to possibly cancel an event and pour as many resources as possible into this young man’s 2 bedroom home so that he can maneuver in his home upon his return.  It amazed me how many people love him so much to come together on September 29, 2012 to try to do an “Extreme Home Make Over” as best as we could.  Even a contractor, Brian of AA Painting and Contracting, SYG Social & Savings Club, and so many friends who came together to make this young man’s who may eventually walk on a cane, handicap friendly. We decided to work with very little to make a difference that will be so huge for  for him, his children and his best friend (his dog).   On September 29, 2012 we spent the first day making crucial repairs the focus.  Brian of AA Painting and Contracting purchased and provided many of the building materials and some appliances as well.  We know this will be a 5-7 day project with so many more things that need to be done.  We hope on the day of his return we can say “Move That Bus!"  

If you would like to help, please email Tina Kay at contact@tinakay.net.  If you are looking for someone to speak at your next event or set up a blood drive please email Tina Kay.  By, Tina Kay Hughes www.tinakay.net  Donations can always be made on the website also.

 

Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Re-post from September 10, 2012

In recent years, Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month rolls around and I become extremely happy because it is one of two times out of the year that I can shout as far, loud, and wide as I possibly can to educate the masses about sickle cell disease. Yes! September is Sickle Cell Awareness month! However, if you follow my column you would know that I talk about sickle cell disease whenever I’m given the opportunity, because I live with the disease myself. In this article I will share a few facts. Sickle cell disease is not only an African American disease, nor is it an African disease. There are many other nationalities and races that have sickle cell disease including: Portuguese, Spanish, French Corsicans, Sardinians, Sicilians, mainland Italians, Greeks, Turks and Cypriots. Sickle cell disease also appears in Middle Eastern countries and Asia. The easiest way to understand it is anyone who tans brown when they go outside has the potential to have sickle cell disease in their ancestry. Believe it or not sickle cell disease actually saved the lives of many in the 1600’s of those living in tropical areas of the world. There was a bad outbreak of malaria and those living with the sickle cell gene did not die because the gene that hurts so many today actually saved the lives of those stricken with malaria. So, even today if there is an outbreak of malaria those living with the sickle cell hemoglobin will be more apt to survive the outbreak. Many don’t understand, including some doctors and nurses; how someone with no outward tell tell signs can be in so much pain. There are still many in the health community who do not know how to treat this disease. This does not surprise me! For many years the statistics said that people living with sickle cell disease would not live pass 20, 30, and surely not 40 years. I am happy to say that places like UAB, right here in our community are making great strides to come up with a cure. With so much technology in urban area hospitals, sicklers are living well pass 50 years old. However, more education and exposure is needed in rural areas where doctors still don’t have much exposure to this disease. So, I know you are wondering what are some of the complications if someone with sickle cell disease is having a pain episode? These are some but not all, of the complications: red bloods cells shaped like a banana creating traffic jam in the blood vessels making it impossible for red bloods to take oxygen that is needed throughout the body. Strokes, infections, leg ulcers, bone damage, jaundice, bone marrow stops making red blood cells, kidney damage, acute chest syndrome, spleen damage, liver damage, loss of hearing and eye sight, and low red blood count are some of the things that can possibly happen. I’ve listed several things that can happen to the body when it is not receiving the needed oxygen. I’ve heard someone with sickle cell disease describe the pain that we feel as broken glass traveling through the veins. Sickle cell disease has no face or identity that can be seen on the outside of any sicklers’ body. I call it a terrorist in my body that invaded my body with no questions asked. This disease is not contagious; it is genetic in form and passed on from parents to their children. It is so important to be tested if you do not know if you carry even one of the genes. Babies are now tested when they are born, but adults still need to know if they have sickle cell disease by being tested. So, I know you are wondering what can you do? Well, I will be hosting along with the Metro Birmingham Chapter of the NAACP and Life South Community Blood Centers the Second Sickle Cell Town Hall Forum on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at The Civil Rights Institute from 10am-4pm in the auditorium. We are challenging all churches in the area to register your church into the competition against other churches in the area; as churches send there members to give blood! Will you bleed for the cause? At the end of the day on September 22, 2012 we will acknowledge publicly the churches that gave the most blood. Those winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will win a prize. So please tell everyone you know who may be interested to come and give blood and learn more about sickle cell disease. There will be 3 panels of experts, free testing, and pharmacy students privately discussing medications with anyone who brings all of their medications. There will be many more activities throughout the month. Please go to my website to get more information and register your church. I would love to come to your church to speak! You can also give any amount of a donation on my website, no amount is too small. I hope to see and meet many of you soon! By Tina Kay Hughes, www.tinakay.net , contact@tinakay.net

New Discoveries

Re-post from July 3, 2012 

It amazes me everyday how my child who is now one year old can discover something new that she’s figures out on her own. Recently, she learned the word “Go”, she knows it means she needs her shoes to get into the car and go someplace. So, after I’ve gotten her ready by doing all the things like new diaper, lotion, brushing her teeth, and her bag is ready; she says “Go, Momma, Go”. Sometimes she may even help by putting random things into her bag like a piece of her Mr. Potato Head or a plastic shape. After she has said go so many times she comes find me to see what I am doing or she goes back to watching Nickelodeon Jr. Another thing she has discovered is she can make her body go by sitting on the hardwood floor and pushing herself backwards that I found to astound me. After I noticed her doing this I even tried it and it is a good way to exercise your core and your arms. I can give you all kinds of ways my child amazes even me. The point I am making here is even a baby finds new things in her life that absolutely shock her and me. Why is it that we will not try to learn how to do something everyday? How is it that we are fine with status quo? What is it that we want to do but are afraid of what others might think if you took a leap of faith? When will you trust that God might actually like to give you something but just as your breakthrough is about to happen, you stop? Little children can teach us a little something because they are not afraid, they have not learned what it means to be frightened. We as adults have to think things to death. We want to know all the who’s, what’s, why’s, and how’s before we venture off in a new direction. A lot of people miss out on blessings because of apprehension and lack the faith needed to allow anything that looks unfamiliar to upset the complacency in our lives. However, little children don’t know what to expect if they push a new thing or pull a wrong thing, they just want to see what happens. The next chance you get to watch a very young child who is making new discoveries, sit down and take a minute to observe. I’m sure you will find it’s not very hard to make new discoveries. You will witness that there is nothing wrong with trying a new thing. The longer you wait, more than likely you will never have the faith needed (not even the size of a muster seed of faith) to explore like a child all the wonderful things in this world that are just waiting to be found by you. By Tina Hughes, www.tinakay.net, If you are interested in having me come and speak, I can be reached at contact@tinakay.net

 

From Heart

Re-post from February 15, 2012

We live in a world where people use other people as an asset, an ATM, a slot machine, a ship traveling from here to there. What I’m saying is most (I did not say all) people form relationships with ulterior motives that the person who is doing the using does whatever they need to get what they want from another. Call it what you want, to me this punk is like hustling someone, pimping someone, and pretending to be something they are not. I think of it as using someone as having a means to an end because the relationship is only temporary with no roots because the imposter (or user) will go to any means necessary to accomplish what they have set out to capture, receive, and use for their own benefit. This type of arrangement will kill a tree because it has been poisoned from the beginning and as soon as the imposter has what they are after the tree falls over dead. 

Now, while all this strategic maneuvering is taking place by a leach of a person that wants to suck you dry, the person who has a kind heart, believes in opening themselves up to others is considered to be an asset has a big heart. This kind hearted person does not have a clue about what the consequences of being involved with the con artist who wants to use you how ever you please because you freely give of yourself. The big hearted person does not see what is happening right before their eyes. They may think, “Wow I met a really nice person, I will allow them to come into my life, because they seem to be okay”. However, beyond their wildest dreams they don’t even know they are being plotted upon and about to enter a revolving door to take advantage of the kindness, love, and a willingness to help anyone. 

Has this ever happened to you? It has to me! Now after the counterfeit relationship has been found out by you because you begin to become suspicious of some of the things this newly formed friend does and says. While those who really love and care for you, see the games that are being played on you by another. At first, you deny it but what people are telling you causes you to take heed and do a little reflection. It does not feel good by any stretch of the imagination to be played on by anyone. Now that you have been used and the person whom you considered a friend has blown away with the wind knocking down that tree you thought represented your relationship; the initial reaction is disbelief, hurt, and anger. But how you handle the situation is what people are watching to see how you respond. 

I shared with you that this has happened to me on numerous occasions because I know in my heart that God will deal with the person who has wronged me; vengents is God’s not mine. I can’t stop believing in filling a need if I see a need. I know people are only human and all people are not the same. Lastly, I’ve been a mess in my life, I’ve done the same, and I have fallen short many times on doing what my Maker would like me to do. So put my trust, faith, and belief that helping those who need help are genuine because what I do for others comes from loving people without any recognition or any reward in this journey called life. We must remember to push on past the foolishness that most times is caused by fools in your life. We must listen to that voice within instead of doing what you want. No one is perfect among us, but God does expect us to continue to help because He has forgiven us time after time for our own short falls.

By Tina Kay Hughes www.tinakay.net

 

Character Check

Re-post from: August 14, 2011

“It’s my ball punk” were the words of a little boy mad because he could not have his way and because he was loosing and looked upon as inferior as others picked him last for teams, no one would pass him the ball, and he had two left feet. So his only resort was to take back what belonged to him, his ball, so no one could win if he could not win. His pride and ego were damaged as he walked home not looking back at the kids that teased him until he was no longer in earshot or eye view of the crowd of boys in the park. 

We’ve all had instances in our lives where we wanted to say give me back my stuff because you are making me look bad with “my own stuff”. No one likes to be in the company of a sore looser or a gloater who goes over and beyond to let everybody know how good he is at his craft. Early on in my life, it was not an option for me and my brother to 1.) Participate in sports 2.) Go to church and 3.) Treat others the way we wanted to be treated. We had to play team sports to teach us how to be a team player and work with others. We learned we are not an island unto ourselves and in life you will not be able to do all things alone; but you will need the help of others and in turn others will help you. There were many times I would play a basketball, softball, or volleyball game and at the end of each game we (as a team) would walk in a line and hit the hand of the opposing team and say “good game” regardless of how we felt (because we lost) or even if opposing team would not touch our hands or come out to walk the line (because they lost). Now, there were times when the opposing team did not want to touch us or even say good game because they lost; our coach would not let us gloat and he would remind us of past losses and we still have the rest of the season. It felt good to win but it felt doubly awful to loose a game. This was the lesson in life being taught at an early age, that you may not win them all but how you react after loosing told a lot about your character. Even though you loose, because you will definitely not win them all, will you be like the little boy in the park and say give me my stuff/ball and I’m going home or do you show up the next day for practice ready to become a better person, a better team member, and a better overall individual. A lot of people don’t understand that loosing is apart of life, you will never win them all; but you will have the opportunity to come back to try again. The key is picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and getting up with the mind set that this is not the end, I can do better, get better, and be a better person. 

This analogy that I am using about team sports is one most parents should use to raise their children along with planting a seed of God’s love within their children so long after a child has left the safety net of Mama and Daddy, not only is this team concept embedded in them but God’s seed of wisdom and love is there for that child, now grown up to reflect upon to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, maybe even dry your face from crying, and try again; with a right attitude. Remember in this thing called life as you reflect on the team concept and God’s love- people remember you by what you do and not so much what you say. Our children today are missing out on so much from days of old when it was not an option to go outside on Saturdays to play with others which is where one begins to learn the concept of being a good sport, treating others the way you would like to be treated, and have God’s seed planted in our children early in life. 

Today’s days and times are so different. Many would rather give up instead of getting better, practicing, believing tomorrow will be a better day, all days will not be like today, and how you treat others is a reflection of your character. So, let’s regress a little and begin to do all the things our parents did to and for us to make us the people we are today. Thank you to my Daddy (Peter Hall, Sr.) for being my coach, my biggest fan, inspiring me in your own quirky way, and exposing me to God’s love and wisdom. Selah. 

By Tina Kay Hughes www.tinakay.net