The goal of the Sickle Cell Foundation is to provide up to 20 Family submissions to the Kier’s Hope Foundation. The Foundation will select 10 Families to fulfill their desired Christmas Wish List, and will fund Gifts for each family up to $1,000 per each Family.
Mr. Kier ‘Junior’ Spates will be traveling from Los Angeles to Tennessee on December 21st to personally present the Gifts to the selected families.
ALL Submissions are due by Noon (CST)
Thursday, November 8, 2018.
Please make all submissions by email to:
Requirements for Kier’s Hope Family Christmas Wish List:
2. The Family must have a financial need.
3. Please include a letter of the Family’s Story on why they need
assistance. Tell us about how Sickle Cell has affected your family.
4. Please include clothing size(s).
5. Please include at least three things that each person in the family
would like to receive for Christmas, (including the parents).
Laughing Through Pain: Meet Comedian Kier Spates
Sickle Cell Disease laid a heavy burden on Kier’s entire family physically, emotionally, and economically. His parent’s marriage and his emotional stability were a casualty to the strain of sickle cell disease. It is difficult being labeled the sick child in your community. Education, family functions, enjoying play with his sister, and just day to day things any other kid enjoy was negatively impacted by hospital stays and anxiety associated with fears of the onset of the next sickle cell crisis. Doctors made a diagnosis that Kier would not live past age of eleven, but his Parents knew God had other plans for him.
During his teen years sickle cell disease manifested additional problems for Kier. If transitioning into a young man isn’t difficult enough, Kier had to struggle with his illness along with all the other emotional and social adjustments experienced by teen boys. Watching his parents’ marriage disintegrate along with constant financial instability took its toll on his ability to laugh through the pain and depression set in. Kier failed twice in efforts to end his life and it was that second failure that he knew God intended for him to survive whether he wanted to or not. He realized with the support of his family and very special friend Dr. John Schmick that he could make it. Their understanding of what he was enduring and undying support gave him hope. He realized through their love and commitment to him that he wanted to enjoy the best life had to offer so he learned to live with the pain.
What was Kier to do now at 19 years of age? He decided to make a commitment to doing what he did well and what made him feel great. Kier decided that he would become a full time comedian. If he can live through countless SCD crisis, bouts with depression and two failed suicides, he no doubt could endure the struggles of becoming an entertainer. So at this point in his life, Kier is battling sickle cell disease, economic instability, near homelessness and no medical insurance. He has truly lived dangerously and prevailed. One could say he pulled more than a couple of “Fear Factors!”
So here Kier is now, the man who was told he would not live past the age of 11! He is on the number one syndicated radio show in the country, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show”. Touring the country and abroad entertaining. Kier is also serving as the Sickle Cell Disease Society of America Celebrity Ambassador (SCDAA). So what are his plans now?! He is” Working to change the shape of Sickle Cell Disease.”
The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee (SCFT) is a 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2008, by the late Dr. Trevor K. Thompson and Cherry N.Whitehead-Thompson. As an educator (Administrator with Memphis City Schools) and sickle cell disease consumer, Dr. Thompson championed the call for advocacy, educational support and social services for citizens impacted by sickle cell disease in Memphis, across the state of Tennessee, and in the regions of north Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. His efforts have enabled SCFT to provide educational awareness, through direct contact, via television, radio, print, and social media to more than 1,000,000 citizens across the Mid-South area.
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