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Antonio & Sydnei

A nine-year old boy with sickle cell disease wants to do all the things that other nine-year old boys do. He wants to climb trees, skateboard, shoot hoops, play foot- ball, ride his bike and hang out with his friends. Likewise, an eight-year old girl with sickle cell disease wants to do all the things girls do. However, the children of Synthia and Antonio Copher, Sr. of Dayton, Ohio are siblings who must often curtail their fun activities. Additionally, Antonio, Jr. has kidney problems (related to his dis- ease) and asthma, which adds a troubling dimension to his health.

Sydnei (as she is affectionately called) is a third grader, and Antonio, Jr. is in fourth grade. Both chil- dren were selected by the OSCHA to rep- resent Ohio in the 2011 National Sickle Cell Poster Child contest sponsored by the Sick- le Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA). Being siblings with sickle cell disease, their health problems bring much needed attention to sibling groups who experience the same chronic health condi- tions.

They represent the faces of countless children who are affected with sickle cell disease.The Copher children were diagnosed with sickle cell disease at an early age. Synthia says they lost their first child pre- maturely. She knew she had sickle cell trait however, her husband was not aware that he also carried the trait… Continues on The Praise Reporter – Pg. 13