When A Grandmother Calls

By Genma Holmes • October 22, 2014

My maternal grandparents helped shape my thoughts, values, and paved paths for me even when I was not aware of them doing so. They gave me the audacity to dream and prepared me to take giant leaps in life by being loving and supportive. Now that I am a grandparent, I want 'Grand Prince' to have that same confidence to dream big and know he is loved and supportive. Being a grandparent has taught me a love that I would have never known existed and helps me appreciate the relationship I have had with my grandparents all my life. The love of a grandparent is like no other.

Being a card carrying member of the grandparents' club now, I know from first hand experience, when a grandmother is deeply involved in a child's life, the sky is the limit. The child is going to soar because a grandmother can will it to be. Or at the very least, try to pull the sky closer for her grandchild to reach it. Do not believe a grandmother would not grab a corner of the galaxy to make things happen? Keep reading.

I received an urgent call from a dear friend who has a grandchild who has sickle cell. She said in a very determined voice, "I need you to get the word out about the petition on White House.Gov to declare sickle cell a national priority. We must let others know about more about sickle cell disease. We can not let any more funding be cut from research. Nor can we let any more clinics be closed. This is very important!" In the next breath, she reminded the power of a grandmother's love. "You know my grand-baby has sickle cell. This is not an issue or cause, it is my grand-baby's life we are talking about."

My friend, a grandmother of a young free spirit with sickle cell, was prepared to organize a ride to moon if that was what it was going to take to get enough signatures to get the attention of the President. On the day of the call, the petition had around 22,000 signatures. The petition needed 100,000 and the deadline was looming a few days away. With sickle cell affecting 90,000 Americans and 3 million individuals of trait carriers of sickle cell disease, this petition was important to many families.

Sickle Cell Disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles used to cut wheat. When these hard and pointed red cells go through the small blood tube, they clog the flow and break apart. This can cause pain, damage and a low blood count, or anemia.

Sickle Cell Disease is a major public health concern causing critical healthcare impacts in the nation. After talking through a strategic grass roots plan with my friend, I promised that I would share her message and the information she had sent me with others. Within a few hours of us working our Rolodex, emails, and social media accounts, there was a noticeable increase in the numbers. Two days later, every Bam Mom, Big Mom Gramma, Grammy, Grams, Grandma, Grandmama, Grandmother, Grandma, Grannie, Ma, Maw, Memaw, Mom-mo, Nanas, and one Grand Diva were contacted to sign the online petition. If they were not internet savvy, we suggested getting a grandchild to walk them through the process.

Two days before the deadline and three days after the call, the Sickle Cell Disease Petition to the White House had met the required numbers and then some. It is amazing what happens when a community comes together for the greater good and the effectiveness of social media. It is even more amazing to see the love of a grandmother in action. It is a beautiful site to behold.

The little angel above thanks you as well as her grandmother (and the rest of the family) who loves her dearly!

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