The Homestead City Council honored a South Florida girl during Sickle Cell Awareness Month for her efforts to bring awareness to Sickle Cell—a condition that her body fights against every day. Councilman Jimmie L. Williams, III, a fellow Sickle Cell patient, read the proclamation naming September 27, 2017 as Lia Ottinot Day. The proclamation recognized Ottinot’s strength and encouraged her to continue fight against the disease in the future.
Councilman Williams spoke emotionally as he both praised Lia’s strength and explained how Sickle Cell affects their lives with episodes that sometimes make it hard to get out of bed. “The doctors said I wouldn’t make it past 16, and then 16 came, and we made the stride,” Councilman Williams said. “Then they said 21. 21 came, we made the stride, 30 came, we made the stride, 38 and I’m still here.”
Ottinot and her family are big proponents of donating blood, a lifeline for Sickle Cell patients. One Blood, which has expressed an urgency for donations after Hurricane Irma put the organization out for days, was stationed outside of Homestead City Hall during Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
“I hope other people will give blood so other people can fight too,” Ottinot said.
Her parents, Hans and Margarita Ottinot, made a commitment to help their daughter live a normal life. Not only has the 11-year-old picked up cartoon drawing, she has returned to school after a few years of homeschooling and has dreams to be a doctor to help others fight the same disease that she battles.
“We support her because that’s her life, and that’s our life now,” her mother, Margarita Ottinot, said.
For more information on Lia Ottinot, her fight against Sickle Cell Disease, and how you can get involved click here.