Dima Hendricks Shares Her Story for World Sickle Cell Day.

Over the years I suffered from many complications, including severe chronic pain.  My lifetime living with Sickle Cell has taught me to use my pain to fuel my purpose.  Despite surgeries and hundreds of hospitalizations, I continue to be a relentless advocate for health care and equality.

Through the pain, I became an advocate.  Through the pain, I was able to receive a graduate degree.  Through the pain, I reigned as a pageant queen.  I held the titles of Miss Black Dorchester USA, Miss Black Massachusetts USA and Mrs. Massachusetts International.  Through the pain, I was able to start a family (My proudest achievement).

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Throughout this journey, I have had several conversations with patient leaders, health care providers and individuals with other chronic illnesses.  I even took the time to visit with a few of my friends with Sickle Cell while they were in the hospital.  With each visit, I provided patients with toiletries and other needs to make their hospital stay comfortable.  I found a recurring theme with each interaction: when it comes to painful chronic illnesses, there is a lack of awareness, a lack of support and a lack of consideration for patients and their families.

These fascinating conversations led me to start the #ThroughThePain Movement.  Back by Ambassadors of Change INC, #ThroughThePain is now a full program to help individuals and families with Sickle Cell.  Although I have days when I am in agonizing pain.  There are many days when I don’t have the strength to get up, but I will continue to fight! I will fight to live for my family and I will fight to help serve my community.  I have so much more to accomplish.

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Social Media- linktr.ee/throughthepainmovement .  Website- http://www.throughthepain.org .

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