Sickle Cell Warrior
Brittney Benson endured a lot of trauma during her childhood. As a newborn, her mom knew something was wrong.
“Anytime my mom would hold me, I would just scream,” said Benson, recalling the many times she was admitted to the hospital.
She was just two months old when she was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease. At age five, she began receiving platelets transfusions and at age six, she had a stroke.
With a weakened left side, the recovery was a slow process. She was in a wheelchair for months and had to re-learn how to walk, tie her shoes, and regain strength of her motor skills.
Today, at age 31, Benson has regained control of her health, but continues to get monthly platelet treatments to “avoid a pain crisis,” she said.
“I always know when it’s time to get blood because I become real irritated fast and short with my son because my body is tired,” she said. “When I get a transfusion, I feel like a new woman.”
The Middletown, Ohio, resident urges her fellow community members to get out and donate blood or platelets.
“Donating blood is everything,” she said. “It really can give the person receiving it peace of mind. I rely on blood, so not to have it is scary,” she said.
Thanks to blood and platelet donors, she can enjoy time spent with her two-year-old son. The two enjoy reading books, playing outdoors, walking, jumping jacks, road trips, you name it, she said.
“Think of a blood or platelet donation as saving the life of a mother who can live longer for her kids,” Benson said.