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Local teen shares her experience living with sickle cell anemia

Posted at 12:39 PM, Sep 21, 2023

BELL COUNTY, Texas — September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. It is a disease that impacts around 100,000 people in our country.

Trinity Williams is one of those people. Every step in her life has come with its share of challenges.

“It’s not really hard or easy. It’s kind of in the middle. It flares up at random times,” Trinity said.

Trinity was born with sickle cell anemia, a disease causing her blood cells to stick together blocking blood flow and oxygen from reaching all parts of her body.

“I had her tested at birth because I knew I carried the trait. I have an older son who has the trait only,” said Trinity’s mother Matrena Burks.

While other kids run, play games and enjoy trips, Trinity usually misses out.

“My strength isn’t as good as other people,” Trinity said.

Trinity’s mother said the disease gives Trinity excruciating pain and she must constantly take medicine. It often forces her to stay home or spend days in the hospital.

“If someone else gets the common cold or something simple, it hits her 10 times as hard. We have been in the hospital with blood transfusions. She had her gallbladder out at five. Tonsils and adenoids out at four. She has had procedures after procedures,” Burks said.

“I am gone for like a long period of time. I come back to multiple missing assignments,” Trinity said.

The challenges have not stopped Trinity from making progress. The 14-year-old is doing well in school, trying to make the volleyball team, dancing and pushing past her limits.

“I’m able to work out with my other friends and stay as energetic as them,” Trinity said.

She still has tough days but Trinity’s family, friends and doctors at Baylor Scott & White’s Camp Dreamcatcher have helped Trinity move forward.

“Keep going. Keep trying and stay hopeful,” Trinity said.

If there is a history of sickle cell anemia in your family, it is important that you get tested. Especially if you plan to have kids. Help and treatments are available.