United States - February 23, 2021 - Patrice Sterling announces her new book, "Taking My Life Back: A Family's Story of Triumph from Transplant to Transformation," that launched December 12, 2020. She wrote this inspirational book to encourage other parents to "challenge the experts."
"Taking My Life Back" is a story on Patrice Sterling's family's eighteen-year-old journey to get their son born with sickle cell disease a bone marrow transplant. They celebrated the first anniversary with the book release last December. While her son's journey to a cure for his sickle cell disease was ultimately successful, it was a path with struggles and challenges.
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic blood disorder that affects an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people in the United States. 1 in every 365 African Americans and 1 in every 16,000 Hispanic Americans are born with Sickle Cell Disease. It affects primarily (almost solely) people of color. In the disorder, hemoglobin – an essential protein present in red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body – is abnormal, making the red blood cells bend into a sickle-like shape. These oddly-shaped cells clump together, getting stuck in blood vessels, resulting in severe pain, infections, damage to organs, and a shortened life expectancy.
"Taking My Life Back" addresses the need to Advocate, Question the experts, and Never give up. As many as 10% of all African Americans carry the sickle cell disease gene. And yet, adults living with sickle cell disease frequently report encountering doctors who don't know anything about it and don't know how to treat it. Patrice Sterling takes the readers on her family's emotional journey and how she presented the transplant issue for her son but was refused several times for various reasons. She continued to advocate, push back, and did not give up, and the results have been tremendous.
"My son, Jonathan, wasn't like other children. He missed a lot of school due to doctor's appointments and illness. There was pain wherever the blood flows. It hurt so badly," Patrice recalls. "After some time, my family started exploring bone marrow transplants, a possible cure for sickle cell disease to date. We were rejected several times for different reasons, but we didn't take no for an answer. Jonathan was, however, very fortunate to have his dad as the best half-match for a bone marrow transplant. The transplant process was long, but despite the lengthy and sometimes challenging process, we finally got the news we had been waiting for," she added.
Patrice Sterling is an advocate for every child she encounters. Faith, family, and caring for her only son, born with Sickle Cell Disease, make her passionate for pediatric advocacy.
Patrice serves on both the Patient Care Delivery Committee and the Pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Council for one of the largest Non-profit Health Care Systems in the United States. Her blog, Words2Heartdotcom, speaks to the realities of parenting a child with a chronic illness and the blind navigation it requires.
Patrice is available for articles and interviews and is eager to get the word of hope out about the cure for sickle cell disease. People interested in "Taking My Life Back" and seeking a book that has got it all: motivating, inspiring, insightful, and of course, triumph can order on her website.