A Bronx teen is doing her part to help those with sickle cell disease to close out the month that raises awareness for the disease using her own music.
Kadi Barry, 14, was born with sickle cell disease and a resilient spirit. She is singing songs to give those with the disease a positive outlook -- along with reassurance that they aren’t alone.
Barry began singing publicly for the first time at a summer camp for kids with chronic illnesses. That experience inspired her to make her music video to spread a message of hope.
"Whenever you're sad just come back to my little video and we can sing together and laugh a little bit,” she said to News 12.
About 100,000 people in the U.S. are born with the rare blood cell disorder, which causes pain and complications throughout the body. And for Barry, who spent plenty of days at Montefiore Children’s Hospital fighting the disease, she believes those odds make people with sickle cell special.
"My mom always told me that like if I was born with it than I'm different," Barry added. “That I'm a good different, I'm unique."
Barry truly hopes that others with the disease begin to speak up. Dr. Kerry Morrone, who works at Montefiore, wants those suffering to listen.
"To not judge when they say they have to take extra rest or they have to take extra water breaks,” Morrone said. “They may look healthy on the outside at times when really their body has a lot of internal stress.”
Barry soon would like to return to Montefiore, only in a bigger light as a doctor or nurse.
"If, you know, I do encounter a sickle cell patient there, I could be like, 'Oh, I have sickle cell,'" she said. “They're like, ‘Wait, you have sickle cell? You look so healthy.' I'm like, 'That's going to be you when you're older.'"