Our friend Cynthia Uduebor, a lawyer at a prominent Dallas law firm, and her family have started the Otis Uduebor Sickle Cell Foundation in memory of her brother Otis Uduebor. Diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of four, Otis was told he would not live to see his fifth birthday and, if he did, would not grow to be more than three feet tall. But Otis defied the odds. At his death in January 2007, Otis was 23 years old and over six feet tall. In his 23 years, Otis touched many lives as an example of perseverance and faith. He simply would not allow himself to be defeated by the physical obstacles of his disease. In August 2006, Otis graduated from the University of North Texas, and following graduation, he planned to launch a national campaign to increase sickle cell awareness.
Sickle cell anemia affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States, more than 70,000 people have the disease and about 2 million Americans have the sickle cell trait, making it the most commonly inherited blood disorder in our nation. Because there is no universal cure, treatment often involves pain management and blood transfusions.
The Otis Uduebor Sickle Cell Foundation seeks to empower persons with sickle cell to live long, healthy, and purposeful lives, provide support for their families and friends, and increase public awareness of the sickle cell disease. They envision holding blood drives and testing opportunities, creating support groups, and developing other ways to raise awareness about the disease. By making Otis’s dream a reality, they hope to improve the quality of life of persons with sickle cell and their loved ones.