Local boy with incurable disease is helping others
Most eleven-year-olds enjoy sports. For Tra-Shun Thomas it's basketball. But he can't always hit the court.
"Since I can't go outside all of the time, basically I'm stuck to electronics, video games, anything that plugs up to something," he said.
He was born with the inherited disease sickle cell anemia.
"The hemoglobin tends to be sticky and block blood vessels. So the main problem they have is the severe pain crisis that they can experience which they need to come in the hospital for fluids and pain meds," said Covenant Children's Pediatric Hematology Oncology Physician, Latha Prasannan
"It's no joke, it's a kid should never have this disease, you know I've been through a lot. It's not fun and the pain hurts," Tra said.
During what Tra says feels like 1,000 pain crisis throughout his life, his mom said he has had about 30; through that he has spent many days at Covenant Children's, and to them the staff there feels like...
"Family." "Family, it's my, I hate to say it's my second home because we come here so much, but I greatly appreciate everyone who works here," Tyshuna Robinson, Tra's mother, said.
In 2015, Tra had the chance to get out and explore when the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted his wish.
"His wish was to go to Disney World," his mom said.
When he got back to Lubbock he got an idea.
"He was like mom, I think we should start doing Lemonade Day and all of the money we have, we can donate back to the Make-A-Wish Foundation," Robinson said.
This is his third year participating in Lemonade Day, and giving back to make a wish.
"It makes me feel proud because I know other children want to like explore the world instead of staying in one place. Because I know how they feel, it's not cute, It's not. It's ugly, it's mean. You got to stay in bed most of the time. When you're in pain, you gotta stay in that one spot, it's not fun," Tra said.
He says he'll be donating $500 this year. It leaves him feeling quite rewarded.
"Very, very, very, very happy, like I don't know how much happy I could explain but very happy," Tra said.
He's doing this to help others going through these struggles.
"Sickness like cancer you know that's very hard, all types of disease that kids should not have, that they should just be like normal kids but that disease makes us special, you know nobody is different," Tra said.
With the help of Tra's physician,
"She's like a second mom. She most definitely gets onto me when I need it, she puts thing in perspective whenever I lose my cool, when I panic that they got us and they gonna walk us through this and everything is going to be okay," Robinson said.
And the new drug hydroxyurea and a better diet, Tra hasn't had a pain crisis in two years.
"We're just going to continue on that path, make sure we have a good doctors and staff behind us like we have been and things will be okay," Robinson said.
And without the crisis' it will keep him and his Covenant Children's family very, very happy.