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Acadiana church spreading holiday cheer while bringing awareness to sickle cell anemia

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Posted at 8:17 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 17:58:09-05

One Acadiana church, forever changed by sickle cell disease, is hoping their outreach will save lives.

Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited disorders, affected by red blood cells.

The cells contort into a "C-shape" which can affect oxygen and blood flow causing pain and infections.

The disease predominantly affects African Americans.

“I thank God for everything y’all did for us.”

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Paula Joseph and her five grandchildren have a few extra gifts under the Christmas tree.

Her grandchildren Kyle and Lilianna both have sickle cell anemia.

A disease Joseph watched her mother battle growing up.

“My mother had it and I would see her cry on the sofa and I couldn’t do anything and I didn’t know about sickle cell then. Now I’m older and I understand it,” said Joseph.

It’s an understanding Pastor Abram Freeman At Acts Of Love Christian Fellowship, that influenced him to start a support group for families who have sickle cell anemia.

“I learned we didn't have a sickle cell anemia foundation representation here. We started to build up the foundation and we got it where we want. We were thinking what can we do for them this year,” said Freeman.

Freeman teamed up with bayou angels disaster relief to make it happen.

“To give these toys out, it just melts your heart and to watch the kids get so excited it’s like wow. He’s been such a blessing to us and the community,” said Bayou Angels Disaster Relief Executive Director, Phil Sonnier.

Now Kyle and Lilianna are forever grateful for this act of kindness.

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