Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenya Buckley.
Kenya, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My mother passed away from complications of Sickle Cell Disease on May 31, 2005, at the age of 46. Many times, she mentioned that she wanted to write a book to tell her story. Unfortunately, she lost her life long battle to Sickle Cell before she was able to write her book.
It has been my mission to tell her story and the motivation behind me creating Carol’s Promise Sickle Cell Foundation. The foundation holds her namesake and is fulfilling the “promise” that I made to her that I would help find a cure and advocate on her behalf, so no one would have to suffer the way that she did. Carol’s Promise was birthed in 2017 to improve the quality of lives in individuals living with Sickle Cell.
We do this by Support, Advocacy, Raising Awareness, and Education.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Of course, with anything in life, there are highs and lows, success and challenges. The road to creating Carol’s Promise was no different. My mother passed in 2005, but it was officially a non-profit until 2017. It wasn’t until 2015, ten whole years until I was able to conquer the major depression that I was in from losing her.
On the 10th anniversary of her death, I literally felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and I could breathe again. This was the point that I knew it was time to get to work. I call it God’s work. I still had no idea how to start a non-profit.
My career had only been in Finance. I did the research, had some awesome friends to help, and we were official on August 7, 2017, just two days before my mothers birthday.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Carol’s Promise Sickle Cell Foundation – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We provide services to families in Tarrant County, and I am so proud of the work that we have done in such a short time. In 2018, Carol’s Promise was voted Best Community Service organization in Fort Worth. Through our Carol Cares program, we provide care packages to patients that are admitted into the hospital.
We also have an annual Holiday party that helps to alleviate financial burdens on parents because all children get three-four gifts from “Santa.” Each Summer we have a Sickle Cell Summit to educate the public and healthcare professionals about Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait.
We host Blood Drives and quarterly support group meetings where families come to express frustrations and concerns and get support from fellow Sickle Cell Warriors. We provide Backpacks with camp essentials to the patients at Cook Children’s Hospital that are attending Camp Jubilee.
Lastly, we have a financial hardship program that helps with groceries and utility bills while if any Warrior has had a recent hospital stay. Everything that we do for our families is at no cost to them, so we are always accepting donations, sponsorships, or partnerships with other organizations.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In 2018, we partnered with another organization and went on an HBCU College tour to raise awareness. While on tour we offered Sickle Cell Trait testing as well. I am looking forward to continuing this tour with Bold Lips for Sickle Cell in 2019 because it is really needed in our community.
I am excited that we have identified three more schools that we will visit this year. I am also looking forward to taking Carol’s Promise to the next level. I have some wonderful things on the horizon that I am not at liberty to talk about right now but visit www.carolspromise.org or follow our social media to be in the know.
- Address: Fort Worth, TX 76123
- Website: www.carolspromise.org
- Phone: 469-509-8149
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/carolspromise/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarolsPromise/
Anna Roe, Coyia Malone