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Congratulations
Jennifer Concepcion!
"I didn't know what Sickle Cell was until I came across her Instagram page. Then it happens that I found out my daughter is a Sickle Cell carrier, and thanks to her I know about this disease." -Yessica P.

"[Jennifer] has done such an outstanding job spreading awareness for Sickle Cell since her daughter was in her womb. So many people have come together and educated themselves with the help of my granddaughters story. I am very proud of her." -Maritza

"She has become the voice of those who are silenced through pain."
-Naomi S.

"She has brought awareness to our community... She helps young Latinos/Latinas like myself get involved." -Jenisse B.
 
An advocate is "a person who publicly supports a cause"; however this definition does not encompass the dedication and efforts Jennifer Concepcion (the Bronx, New York) has shown towards Sickle Cell. 

"I had no idea what Sickle Cell was until I was pregnant with my first child. At 18 weeks gestation I found out I was having a girl and found out she would be born with Sickle Cell Anemia (SS)."

From the moment she found out her daughter would have Sickle Cell Disease, she began educating herself and others about the disease. When her daughter had her first Sickle Cell pain episode, she shared it with the world, not knowing the type of impact it would create. Jennifer was able to expose the ugly realities of Sickle Cell Disease, while capturing the hearts of thousands of viewers. In doing so she has risen (and still continues to raise) an immense amount of Sickle Cell Awareness.

Jennifer has accomplished so much in so very little time. In September 2014, Jennifer took Sickle Cell advocacy and awareness to a whole new level when she focused her efforts on the Sickle Cell Treatment Act petition. While promoting for it, Delilah's story went viral she managed to grab the attention of several public figures, including Khloe Kardashian. This not only raised awareness for Sickle Cell, but also helped achieve the needed number of signatures for the petition.

Jennifer is also active within the Sickle Cell community and has introduced it into the Latin community. She has also hosted Sickle Cell fundraisers and support groups for moms with children with Sickle Cell. She is actively educating others about the disease, while looking for ways to put Sickle Cell on the map.

Jennifer has done an outstanding job not only as a mother, but a true advocate for Sickle Cell.

Please take the time to congratulate Jennifer (aka @bellexguerrier on Instagram) for her efforts and accomplishments towards the cause.
The 2014 Sickle Cell
Advocate of the Year Finalists
Please also congratulate our finalists. They equally deserve recognition for their efforts. We will highlight them and their achievements in future issues.

Shamonica Wiggins

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShamonicaWiggins
Instagram:@whambam_thankyou_sham, @sicklecell_24_7, @BoldLipsForSickleCell
Twitter: @sham_ON_you, @www.twitter.com/boldlips4SCD

Ssebandeke Ashiraf
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sicklecell.uganda
Twitter: @UgandaWarrior
Blog: http://www.ashirafworld.blogspot.com/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+KamulaleAshilaf/posts
 
Nikia Wainwright
www.cimoneandfriends.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cimoneandfriends
Instagram: @keevieskia
Twitter: @keevieskia, @cimoneandfriends
 
Tynisha Hall
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tynisha.hall
 
Big thanks to our panel judges:
Kier Spates - Comedian on Steve Harvey Morning Show
T.J. Brown - The 2013 Sickle Cell Advocate of the Year
Najaam Lee - Artist, Creative Director, Lifestyle Coach of NL Art
Question? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? Anything!
We want to hear from you!
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