Son, Brother, Friend, Comedian are a few words to describe the man with the infectious smile we know as Comedian Kier Spates. However, what has been left out of the aforementioned descriptors are Survivor, Warrior, and One aspiring to greatness! These are few of many words to describe the spirit of this sickle cell champion.
Kier founded Kier’s Hope Foundation Incorporated not only inspire and educate families affected by sickle cell disease, but to provide education, programs, and services, and funding resources. Here at Kier’s HOPE we are breaking the silence. Kier’s HOPE is here for your support. We are “Working to Change the Shape of Sickle Cell Disease.”
Comedian Kier Spates was born in Houston Texas in 1978. During that time there was no mandatory testing for infants in Texas. Only since May 1, 2006, have all states required and provided universal newborn screening for SCD despite a national recommendation to complete screening since 1987. Like most, Kier’s parents could not understand why their child was so sick and in so much pain. Kier was misdiagnosed with everything from food allergies to other common pediatric issues. It took seven years of emergency room visits and hospital stays for one physician to finally diagnose him with sickle cell disease in 1985.
Suffering with sickle cell disease in silence was not uncommon in the African American Community as there was a lack of knowledge of the disease. Sickle Cell Disease is misunderstood as being contagious, an automatic death sentence, and that people with SCD can’t do what “normal” people do! This stigma is a heavy burden for a young child who has no clue why they are treated differently and why they are the source of their family’s hardship.
Sickle Cell Disease laid a heavy burden on Kier’s entire family physically, emotionally, and economically. His parent’s marriage and his emotional stability were a casualty to the strain of sickle cell disease. It is difficult being labeled the sick child in your community. Education, family functions, enjoying play with his sister, and just day to day things any other kid enjoy was negatively impacted by hospital stays and anxiety associated with fears of the onset of the next sickle cell crisis. Doctors made a diagnosis that Kier would not live past age of eleven, but his Parents knew God had other plans for him.
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For General Information:
Kier's Hope Foundation Inc.
PO Box 2586
Cedar Hill, Texas 75106