Cardona’s charity spreads awareness of sickle cell anemia

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Cali // Senior Silvana Cardona has shown incredible leadership skills, serving as the founder of the Julie's Journey organization.

Senior Silvana Cordona cannot get enough of the community, as shown through the multiple clubs that she participates in.  Silvana jumped at the opportunity to help her cousin Julie raise awareness about a medical condition she suffered from.  Julie’s Journey, a charity organization created by Cordona, set out to create awareness for Sickle Cell Anemia.  The charity was founded on June 25, 2015.

“One day I remember going to visit her when she was in the hospital, which then became a regular routine until I decided I wanted to do something to change what I saw.” Silvana explained.  The charity itself creates awareness shirts, speaks at events, and fundraises a great amount. “Sickle Cell is a very common genetically-inherited blood disease which causes red blood cells to be sickle or crescent shaped.  Their characteristics include being sticky and irregular which causes a lot of blood flow in the limbs and organs, thus causing an extreme amount of pain,” she continued.  

To spread awareness for the disease, the charity is in the process of organizing a 5K that should be set up by 2017.  The charity has gotten a ton of publicity in the past months through their Facebook posts and events that they have attended.  When asked how you could help out Silvana responded, “To get involved we are going to have an information session that will explain what needs to be done to be either a volunteer or on the committee.”  

With this, anyone will be able to help out whether it be during the 5K or any other event.  The 5K will be the biggest event yet with the hopes of becoming an annual ordeal in the future.  “I am hoping to be a 501C3, which is a legalized nonprofit charity.  I’m also hoping to raise awareness funds for a cure and to have a 5K that grows in popularity each year.”  Overall, the charity continues to grow and has big plans for the future.   

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