Trevor K Thompson co-founded the Sickle Cell Foundation with his wife, Cherry Whitehead-Thompson, and The Sickle Cell Foundation is now moving on. The foundation misses Trevor’s over-the-top spirit of joy and excitement. His young understudy, Justin Flowers, has fought battle after battle with Sickle Cell this year. Changes at the foundation ultimately led him to resigning from the foundation he loved and starting his own foundation called Winning with Sickle Cell. Also missing from the foundation is Chinonyelum Nwosu, better known as Chili. In the past few months Chili, while still very passionate about the foundation, has gone to work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. While Cherry Whitehead-Thompson did co-found the Sickle Cell of Tennessee Foundation with her husband, today she has no official role with the foundation. Like others, the year without Trevor has left her displaced. However, she still supports the management of the foundation in more of a consulting role. These changes aren’t a negative blemish on the foundation, they are simply signs of change that is bound to happen with any change in leadership.
November 10th marked the devastating one-year anniversary of Trevor’s death. So much has changed in this past year.
The 5K race that Trevor started had its most successful year to date. For the event, Cherry Whitehead-Thompson served as the logistics chair and little Trevor J made his own mark on the race.
Trevor left behind such a void not just in the Foundation, but also in the lives of many in the Sickle Cell Community. We caught up with Cherry Whitehead-Thompson, Justin G. Flowers, and Stephen Whitney to share life after Trevor and a message of hope to everyone living and supporting someone with Sickle Cell.
Stephen Whitney – Friend and Supporter of Dr. Trevor K Thompson
Crazy and hard to believe it’s been a year since the world lost such an amazing man. Trevor, you became a mentor, friend, and the first person to invest in an unknown 22-year-olds crazy idea to found and produce a Craft Beer Festival.
Thank you for having faith in me and opening my eyes to what can happen when someone believes in you. We all miss you, but we know you’re looking down and watching over us.
The Late Wife
This is the one-year anniversary of the death of our beloved Dr. Trevor K. Thompson, a man who truly loved and supported those around him. Trevor gave his all to anything he set his heart on achieving. Over 10 years ago he had a dream to create an organization developed to serve individuals and their families who are living with Sickle Cell Disease. He believed that this organization would not only serve individuals in Memphis, but the State of Tennessee and the Mid-South. As time progressed, because he was a man of vision, he began making connections in other parts of the world in an effort to educate other communities about Sickle Cell Disease.
I know that Trevor’s death was a very difficult thing for us all to experience; however, I truly believe, knowing him like I did, that he would not want any of us sitting around with long faces and tears in our eyes. He would expect that we would continue pouring into the lives of others, just as he poured into us. We all were so very proud of him and the work that he did. On today, he would want us to continue the vision of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee. He would want us to ensure that older consumers were mentoring young consumers, that consumers were supporting one another, and that we all continue to work towards finding a universal and affordable cure for Sickle Cell Disease.
Some may be wondering how we, the family, are doing today and how we are coping with such a huge loss in our lives. Well, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. We truly miss him. He was so many things to each of us. He was more than just a husband to me, he was my best friend, my protector, and my provider. He was more than just farther to Alex and Gator, but he was their mentor and advisor. He was a hero to all of us. He set a great example of what, not only a man should be, but what a husband and father should be as well. As we progress through these next years, we will continue to be advocates for the Sickle Cell community, never allowing anyone to write our story. The story of those who live with the disease and the story of those of us who care and love those who are living with and have died because of the disease. I don’t believe that Trevor would expect anything less. We will continue to support the efforts of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee and we ask for your continued support of the Foundation, as well. There is no way the Foundation will continue to be what Trevor created it to be without you, the life line, the bloodline of the organization. Please help me to continue the legacy of such a worthy man: our friend and mentor, Dr. Trevor K. Thompson. Let his life be an example of all that can be achieved.
Justin G. Flowers – Young Man mentored by Dr Trevor K Thompson
He taught me the truth of winning. Trevor never let something keep him from accomplishing his goals. When one thing didn’t work, there was always a backup plan. Trevor made sure he fulfilled his obligations for the betterment of others.
I serious miss that man’s laugh! You hear that laugh and you can pinpoint him anywhere. Trevor could brighten any situation by simply laughing!
One message Trevor always pushed out was to never give up. Especially when it came to education. He wanted every consumer to go get educated and make something of themselves. No matter how long it took. That doesn’t mean he wants a consumer to just go learn something, his message was to find your passion, educate yourself about that passion, and let it make you the best at that craft resulting in happiness and fulfillment. Dr. Trevor K. Thompson was truly an example of the message he preached!