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Timmerman Traverse: Benefiting Sickle Forward

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Organized by Sickle Forward

$768,794

851 Supporters

76% of $1,000,000 goal

Ilyas Said

Fundraiser since Mar 2024

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$50,000

1 supporter

90% of $55,000 goal

Ilyas Said's Story

As a young brother of a sickle cell warrior, let me tell you a little story about my sister, a warrior, Arafa, who defeated all odds. Born on the 16th of March 1987 in Tanzania, Arafa was brought in this world healthy and well. At the young age of just 8 Months she was diagnosed with sickle cell. She had swelling in her hands, they thought it was an allergic reaction, once at the hospital she was diagnosed with sickle cell. Our parents who at that point have never even heard about sickle cell before, struggled to comprehend the situation. Upon learning more about sickle cell they were informed she probably wont live past her teen years given her condition. Our parents worked really hard to take care of her but sadly given the healthcare situation in Tanzania back then, with a heavy heart they decided to take her to Oman at the age of 10 years in hopes she gets better healthcare. It helped and she got healthier but you can imagine, a young girl, sick, in a foreign country, far away from her immediate family it was a tough time for her as well as our parents and us as her siblings. At the age of 14, Arafa moved back to Tanzania to continue with her studies. Growing up with sickle cell, Arafa experienced a lot of pain. These episodes of pain are commonly referred to in the sickle cell community as “a pain crisis.” Our parents were always worrying about her doing certain things when she was growing up, any minor illness would have our parents fearing for the worst. Growing up It was a common theme for Arafa to be hospitalized for weeks on end given the severity of her pain crises. Countless blood transfusions. At one point she even had a stroke. But Arafa was always positive and she never let sickle cell win, in turn this influenced her to dedicate the rest of her life to spreading knowledge and awareness about sickle cell. In 2013 she was invited to speak at Harvard University it was such a proud moment for Arafa and us all, seeing the fruits of her hard work and perseverance. Fast forward today Arafa is a wife, a mother to one beautiful boy and runs a successful NGO aimed at spreading knowledge and awareness about sickle cell. She’s traveled to over 10 countries (including Ghana, Tunisia, Nigeria, South Africa, just to name a few) to spread awareness about sickle cell and also gain more knowledge on the treatment of sickle cell. With that being said, it is my honor to join Timmerman Traverse for Sickle Forward campaign led by Luke Timmerman and his co-chairs Alan Anderson and Ted Love. The aim is to raise funds which will be directed to improving those affected by Sickle cell disease in areas with limited resources by promoting early diagnosis and access to basic care.

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Sickle Forward

A 501(c)(3) Public Charity

EIN 87-1031270