Monday, November 24, 2014

The Plan

Okay, so now that most of my ducks are in a row, it's time to take some action.

The plan:

Since Sickle Cell patients spend most of their time in the hospital, they don't really get the famous "high school experience". No house parties, basketball games, no long lectures in History class. Not to mention no grand social experiences, no running late to 3rd hour and worst of all no school dances.

There's a thing that many high schools do called shadowing. This is where a middle school student would be assigned to a student in high school and follow them around all day to get a feel of highschool and the atmosphere in general. 

This is what I want to do with Sickle Cell patients, but instead of calling it shadowing, I want to call it Enlightening. Living where I live, which is known as "the bubble", not many people leave the area too often, so we're just surrounded by the same rich, poised, and narrow hearted people. 


With bringing in "an outsider" (as one would call it), you are being opened to new things. You begin to see life outside of "the bubble" and see that not all people who don't have a ton of cash, are poor. Because yes, material wise they lack in the money department, but with being in the hospital day in and day out, they are rich with hope. 

If hope and faith were to be as valued as a 300k dollar home, some of these Sickle Cell patients would be loaded.

Honestly, this is a win-win situation for everyone. These patients receive a day as a normal high school teenager and get to enjoy all the many "great things" of high school, all the while the student will be enlightened. 

It might not seem like a fair trade: Going to school versus being enlightened, but honestly, everyone goes home with something and that's what really matters.

was also thinking of expanding it later on in the project to not only teenagers, but also middle schoolers, elementary goers. There are many schools in my area for many different types of students to get ANY kind of social interaction other than family and the hospital nurse. 

For now though, I do want to focus on high schoolers and start of with a strong base, so I won't go too far too soon.

Although... it's never too soon when you're battling a life threatning disease.

Give Your Time, Don't Take It

Last week I was faced with a (first world) problem. Something that doesn't connect at all with what I am doing to help those with Sickle Cell, but in fact dismays the whole concept.

I like to think of myself as a self-less person, however over the past couple of days, I have been quite the conceited person. I have been very stingy about my time and my work and I haven't realized (until now) that I need to do better and keep others' interests and minds at heart.

At my age, my future is my today and I can't afford to lose a second, especially at the pace I'm going. I am on a roller coaster that only goes up and for me to drop the ball with my actions... well... it's not the BEST thing for me at the moment. Being on this ride means doing things today that will make me and those around me better. Greater even.

This means doing all I can now in high school, that way I have a better chance to get into a better college.

I know that this is a terrible reason to do half of the activities that I invest so much time into, because "It will look good on a college application", however that isn't always the case, but the reason is still there in the back of my mind ALWAYS. In school, I am in Peer2Peer (an association that works with the students in my school who have mental disabilities), Yearbook Club, Choir (rehearsals can go from 4pm-8pm at times), Student Council, and Pointe Players (an actors' group that puts on a show at least once out of the year). Outside of school, I take piano lessons and I also condition for sports teams.

It is a very busy schedule, but I like it. I like being busy and all of the things that I am doing, I enjoy! However sometimes doing so many things at once, you begin to lose sight of your goal and why you started to do the things you do in the first place.

This is what was happening with me. Being so busy, I didn't want to do much for others, because I was so invested in myself and all the things I had to do. I was so occupied in my own time that I even thought of dropping this amazing project.

My thought process was scarce of feelings and more of "what can I possibly knock off of my schedule that won't ruin my life completely, yet still allow me a bit of time to breathe?"

Immediately my mind was drawn to this little class project. I thought why not change it to something that I can do out of school that will only take me 20 minutes, rather than an hour. I was going to change this project into a journey of me becoming an actress. I was already in the school play and I had already taken an acting class, so it was like killing two birds with one stone. I could further my career and finish up a class assignment for an easy A.

As soon as I began to see myself trying to take the "easy wAy" out, I instantly snapped back to reality. It was okay for me to try to get an easy A on something like a Spanish Quiz, but as far as this project... not happening.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that although I won't ruin my own life, there's is a greater chance of me bettering someone else's! A little class project can make a world wide difference.

(Well... maybe not world-wide but... hey! You get it.)

I'm not normally the type to try and give off a cheesy yet inspiring Martin Luther King type of message to end something as silly as a blog post, but with this one especially.. I'm going to give it a shot (no pun intended to MLK!!!!):

No matter how busy you may become, always find time for the ones you love, because bent, or curved, or scratched from the start, you'll always end up with an Even Heart.

(The fact that I made it rhyme makes it so cringe-worthy, but this is the only time I'll ever do something like this ever, so don't worry!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Beginning

Hello!
So, I know what you're thinking. Sickled Cells and Even Hearts? Really? What does this even mean? When I give you the meaning behind the name... it's going to sound a bit cliche. 
What is sickle cell exactly? I'm pretty sure this picture can explain it a lot better than I can!


A sickled cell is a blood cell that is crescent-shaped, while normally it should be a decent disc-shaped cell.
That's where the Sickled Cell part comes from: the actual disease. And then you have Even Hearts. That's where you.. well.. your heart. That's where your heart comes in. No, you won't have to give it away exactly, just... some of the love in it! Someone with sickle cell, their blood cells may not be shaped like mine and may do some pretty scary things, but our hearts are pretty much the same and they do the same actions. I'm not talking about the whole "pumping-blood-24-hours-a-day-80-times-a-minute-delivering-life-sustaining-oxygen-and-nutrients-to-300 trillion cells" thing. I mean loving. 
I know that loving someone or something isn't the easiest thing to do and you don't have to... not right now at least! Just continue to follow me throughout this journey of shining a light on those who have to live with sickle cell and hopefully you will be just as passionate as I am.. if not more! 

-Zaria