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Today’s Faces of Sickle Cell Disease: Beverley Francis-Gibson
Beverley Francis-Gibson is a President and CEO of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA). Francis-Gibson knows about the pain of sickle cell disease- not as a patient, but as a family member who lost a loved one to the illness. She also knows about the harm done by the silence, rooted in ignorance and sometimes even shame, that is associated with the condition. Born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in a tightknit family, she witnessed the misery endured by her cousin Vincent, who was born with sickle cell disease and was often so sick he couldn’t play with the other children. “It was very hot, so he remained indoors most of the time,” said Francis-Gibson. “He was hospitalized a lot, had jaundiced-looking eyes and seemed sickly to me all the time.”
She was in high school when Vincent passed away. Because of her own family’s ordeal, Francis-Gibson became an advocate and, since March, the President and CEO of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
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