Young man now sickle cell free

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – This time last year, Nile Price was in V.C.U. Medical Center. Doctors said he needed a bone marrow transplant to live. We made a plea for donors, and because many of you got tested, a match was found and Nile was cured of sickle cell.

Look at Nile Price now in middle school, dealing with teen pressures, just like his peers. It's a blessing; he says to walk the halls of L. Douglas Wilder Middle School, back with teachers and friends who are equally as happy to see him, even with his chipmunk cheeks -- a side effect of the medications.

"They were like, you should be pumped dude, I was year I'm pumped. It was good to see old friends, new friends," said Nile. "Not the old kid who has a nick name at school, the sick kid"

This time a year ago Nile lived life hoping he wouldn't die - isolated for fear he would catch a virus.

"That thought is gone. That though is out the window now. No sickle cell," he said.

One year ago, doctors explained his critical condition -- then, in July 21, 2009, Nile had a successful bone marrow transplant. Two perfect matches were found after our stories. Doctors kept him under close watch, and on August 20, the donor blood had taken over -- Nile was cured.

"The best part is just seeing him be a kid because we're used to seeing Nile lying around crying," said Deborah Price, Nile's mother. "To see him laugh. To see him running around with his, brothers, that's awesome to see. We're starting this year off on an up-swing."

Deborah's repeating one thing though, from last year. She's renewing her plea for African Americans to become bone marrow donors.

"Sickle cell is very real in our community. Sickle cell is wiping out a community of people. It's very devastating," said Deborah.

It's a message the staff and students support at Nile's school. The school has chosen the Bone Marrow Foundation as its charity of the year.

"But the students are very happy to see Nile back. He hasn't had a lot of questions because they have been following him on Channel 12, so he's been a part of us even though he hasn't been here," said Principal Christie Forrest.

The Prices hope you can support them this Sunday at the community fair by Anointed New Life Baptist Church at Chamberlyne Elementary School on Saint Charles Road. It will feature a bone marrow drives. The community can come out and help save a life.

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