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commUNITY spotlight: Jasmine Parker battles Sickle Cell Disease to the end

Sickle Cell is a disease that can cause pain and suffering. A Buffalo woman fought to the end, and her family plans to help others with the disease.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects over 100,000 people in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it occurs in 1 out of every 365 Black births and among 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.

Jasmine Parker was born with type SS Sickle Cell, which is the most severe types of sickle cell, according to her brother, Antonio Parker.

"Oftentimes she spent nights in Children's Hospital with a sickle cell crisis," he said in an interview with Claudine Ewing for commUNITY on WGRZ-TV. "I remember being in the hospital with her every time, running up to Children's Hospital and her legs being in pain, and she was crying."

The only cure for Sickle Cell Disease is bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Her brother was her donor, but she ended up getting graft vs. host disease.

Later she had COVID-19, and with a weakened immune system, she couldn't fight it. She died earlier this year.

Jasmine's wish was to have a party for her 29th birthday.

Her brother is going to give a memorial birthday party for his sister, who wished to be a sickle cell activist.

"I wanted this to have a double meaning, so I made it a fundraiser for sickle cell awareness," Parker said.

The event is scheduled for Friday, May 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion in Buffalo.

Credit: Antonio Parker

Shirts were specially designed by a young sickle cell warrior named MaKenzie Lindsey.

Credit: Darius Sullivan/MaKenzie Lindsey

Proceeds from Jasmine's party will go to My Three Sicklers Sickle Cell Foundation to establish a scholarship in memory of Jasmine.

A patient from Roswell Park who got a bone marrow transplant for sickle cell will also be selected by Jasmine's brother to receive a donation.

Donations are still being accepted. For more information email FORJASMINE14@GMAIL.COM.