"My experiences with Sickle-cell anemia kept on coming… Despite the trials and tribulations of this disease, it has only made me stronger to strive harder in life and has kept my dreams and goals in sight. However, the road is not easy."

When Elvelyna Beaubrun was a newborn, her parents received the dreadful news that she had a particularly dangerous form of the destructive disease, sickle cell (SS). This life-threatening ailment, afflicting about 100,000 African Americans a year, causes malformed red blood cells to clog capillaries, resulting in unpredictable attacks of excruciating pain. Beaubrun has a highly supportive family and strong religious ties, and she is personally determined to succeed. In this short memoir, she describes in detail her triumphs in school where she won trophies for speech-making, leading to her current role as a spokesperson for the treatment of sickle cell anemia offered at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). There, where she herself was long a patient, a cure is being developed involving bone marrow transplants. Beaubrun herself may be eligible for such a transplant—she ends the book offered as "Volume One," with the mysterious message that the results of the tests for her transplant eligibility have finally arrived.

This is an inspiring story, told by a young woman whose petite stature, in part a result of her illness, belies her courageous heart—a characteristic her father noted as he observed her many battles to rise above her physical deficits and excelling in school and life. Like a good suspense writer, she has left her final fate unknown, so that readers will anticipate Volume Two. Her writing is simple, unaffected, enthusiastic and faith centered. Her story is aimed both at fellow sickle cell victims and those who might contribute to the race for the cure. Beaubrun is now pursuing a nursing career, doubtless based on her long fight with the many complications of her disease and her wish to help others to overcome similar setbacks.

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