Stories and inspiration
I have faced joy and tribulation, I have successes and failures, I have overcome so much yet I have much more to still accomplish.....
I am a woman.
I am a beautifully complex, round bag, in a square handbag world.
"Step outside of the box and into something different" - Kisa
My journey in understanding sickle cell anemia
When growing up I wanted to be a ballerina, not necessarily because I like to dance, or even could dance, I just really liked the outfits that they wore. However, having a disease that causes severe pain in my joints, that early career plan was not an option.
I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia an inherited disorder of the red blood cells. Growing up with the disease was difficult, simple things like playing outside with my friends sometimes caused severe pain in my joints. My parents decided to give me alternatives to physical activities. My mom made sure I had every colored pencil, every marker, every type of construction paper and paint.
Designing ballerina clothes was my first sign of being a fashion designer. But I also would sit in my moms closet and rearrange her handbags and play dress up with them; that is where my love of handbags was born.
Today I design handbags that are unique and different, just like me. When you purchase a KisaKisa handbag a portion of my sales will be donated to The Sickle Cell Association of Texas.
What is sickle cell anemia and how does it affect a person?
I grew up having a rare disease that causes severe pain in my joints. I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, an inherited disorder of the red blood cells; that means there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Normal red blood cells are round and flexible which means they can move easily through blood vessels. But when a person has sickle cell anemia, some of the red blood cells become deformed, rigid and sticky. Those irregular shaped blood cells can get trapped in small blood vessels, which can then slow or stop blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body. As of today, there is no cure for the disease, just treatment of symptoms.
I grew up knowing things would be harder on me. So every time I create a round bag, it reminds me that I can and I will keep going!
How to help, and donate?
Thank you for caring about my journey and the journey of 20,000 people who are diagnosed with sickle cell anemia each year!
When you purchase a KisaKisa handbag a portion of my sales will be donated to the Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation in Austin, Texas. This Foundation is in my hometown and I would not be able to create handbags today if it was not for their support.
We also encourage you to give blood. Giving blood is important and you never know who it can help or why. For more information on how you can donate blood you can go to giveblood.org
I am grateful to the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center for choosing my story to be featured on their mobile donation bus. It brings me joy and strength to know that I am inspiring others to help in the fight for Sickle Cell Anemia.
Thank you for joining us in the fight!