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Local Charity Making a Difference


Apopka non-profit bringing awareness to sickle-cell

By Adele Doctor

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month and the Chanell Wright Foundation is helping local patients in need of treatment. The organization was founded after Tony and Chiquita Wright lost their seven year old daughter Chanell due to complications from sickle cell in 2011. The Wrights were all too familiar with the daily challenges parents face when a young child is diagnosed with a life threatening disease. Their only hope was that their child would be cured. Unfortunately, Chanell lost her battle before she could receive the lifesaving treatment she needed. “We decided to start a non-profit organization that could help other parents who are going through the same thing we did with our daughter”, said Chiquita Wright.

Now years later, the 501(c) 3 has raised enough money to start a program to help parents afford a treatment to help their children through crisis situations. Tony and Chiquita knew that the13913844_1091909527525489_3736092141861414692_o majority of children diagnosed with sickle cell suffer with frequent pain crisis. Some require monthly blood transfusion. However, the consequences of an increased transfusion regiment can cause iron overload. The current process for checking iron levels is by using a ferriscan machine. This test is costly and seldom covered by insurance. But what they didn’t know was that most patients can’t afford the $300 co-pay so they end up having to undergo a painful biopsy. The Chanell Wright Foundation raises funds to pay the cost for local patients who can’t afford the test. Their goal is to double or even triple to amount of patients they can help by providing this service.

“One of the main needs in the community is awareness”, said Tony Wright. The organization sponsors a monthly outreach luncheon program to inform patients and their families of resources and treatments available to them. During the luncheon they provide a presentation from a medical specialist along with a Q & A session where the parents can get professional answers to questions they have about the latest treatments and the risks involved. Through this program The Chanell Wright Foundation has been able to expand its services to include patients from 3 neighboring cities (Vero, Melbourne and Tampa). To date they have served over 720 patients and their families.

The organization raises funds through annual golf tournaments, fashion shows, kickball tournaments, sponsors and donations. To donate or learn more about The Chanell Wright Foundation visit www.chanellwrightfoundation.org or call (407) 703-3366.

Adele Doctor is the President of the Chanell Wright Foundation.




Chanell Wright Foundation, Sickle Cell anemia


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