Patient Stories

Sickle Cell Anemia Patient Khàlia Gets Good News

Khàlia, now 17, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when she was just four months old, and when she was 10, Khàlia transitioned her care to Phoenix Children's after a recommendation from a family friend, and has been here ever since.

“Everything about Phoenix Children’s is specific for kids and has opened a lot of doors for us,” Kimyacta, Khàlia’s mom, said. “We wouldn’t trade Phoenix Children’s for anything.”

Several months ago, Khàlia and her family got the news they were hoping for: a bone marrow match had been found. However, it wasn’t just one match that was found for Khàlia, but three! To make the news even better, two of the donors are a 100 percent match, something that is often unheard of when the donor is not a direct blood relative.

After finding out, Khàlia initially wanted to start the bone marrow transplant process right away, which requires a full year of the patient’s life, at the very least. However, after giving it more thought, she has opted to hold off on her transplant to allow her time to finish school. By waiting until next summer, even though it will be hard, Khàlia will have the opportunity to finish her senior year of high school with her friends and classmates, attend prom and walk across the stage at graduation as a member of North High School’s Class of 2016.  

Despite being in an out of the hospital and missing many opportunities to spend time with friends and family, Khàlia hasn’t let sickle cell anemia get her down. She is an exemplary student, taking numerous AP classes, and is a peer leader for anti-bullying/anti-discrimination. Khàlia is also active in her church as a youth facilitator, enjoys basketball, is an advocate for the sickle cell community and hopes to be a Child Life Specialist one day.

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