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May 2009

Sickle Cell Disease poster child meets the president

Gabriel had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. They discussed Sickle Cell Disease and the president’s commitment to helping improve the lives of those affected by the disease.

Gabriel had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. They discussed Sickle Cell Disease and the president’s commitment to helping improve the lives of those affected by the disease.

Gabriel George is an extraordinary 10-year-old who was born with Sickle Cell Disease and has been a “crusader” for the disease since he was two years old. Sickle Cell Disease affects the red blood cells’ ability to get oxygen to the different parts of the body. This results in excruciating pain and can even lead to death.

When Gabriel was two years old, he was appointed as the poster child for the Sickle Cell Association, Marc Thomas Chapter as well as for the Blood & Tissue Center of Central Texas (both in Austin, Tex.). Both organizations use Gabriel in the local community to spread awareness about Sickle Cell Disease as well as the importance of donating blood. Gabriel stayed busy in his position as the poster child for these organizations. But in the summer of 2007, Gabriel was appointed as the National Poster Child for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. In that capacity, Gabriel has traveled all over the country in an effort to bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease. He has met with celebrities and political leaders and in the fall 2007, Gabriel was also given the wonderful opportunity to meet with and talk to President Bill Clinton.

But the highlight of his experience was when Gabriel had the honor and privilege of meeting with President Barack Obama. On March 24, 2009, Gabriel was escorted into the Oval Office of the White House, where he met with the 44th President of the United States. They discussed Sickle Cell Disease and the president’s commitment to helping improve the lives of those affected by the disease. Gabriel also gave gifts to President Obama and his family. Gabriel said of his meeting with the president, “He was really a nice man who was very funny. He seemed to really care about those of us that have Sickle Cell Disease.”

Please pray for Gabriel as he seeks to be a messenger for the Lord in spreading awareness about Sickle Cell Disease.

Shelly George

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