Kadidja A. Dosso | Contributing Writer
The girls are ecstatic! Their smiles stretch from ear to ear as they listen to Kallie and her fellow Rose Petal mentors conduct a mentoring session about careers.
As each mentor explains what their major is and the field that they would like to pursue, the girls minds expand and they are intrigued by the endless possibilities that life can bring one to. A mentee expresses that she has a strong interest in the medical field.
She proceeds to tell the room that as a high school student she is taking science classes to push her further towards her goal of becoming a nurse. Kallie’s eyes gleam as she listens to the young lady speak because she can see a bit of herself within her mentee. She too aspires to become a nurse.
Kallie Hargrove is a senior Kinesiology major from Mississippi who has been through many tribulations during her tenure at Hampton University. She has overcome severe health concerns, emotional distress and so much more that led her to succeed despite her circumstances.
Kallie lived seventeen years of a normal life as the youngest of three children and, the only child with Sickle Cell Anemia, until one day her life changed drastically. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a rare hereditary red blood cell disorder that is carried from parent’ genes to their children.
Those who suffer from SCD have red blood cells that are shaped like a “sickle”, a C-shaped farm tool. Sickle Cell Anemia is most common amongst the African American population and most severe form of Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell crises occur when the “sickle” shaped cells blocks the blood vessels.
When this event occurs blood and oxygen are not able to reach the tissues and that can lead to liver failure, kidney failure, and can even be very life threatening.
During the beginning of Kallie’s freshman year she began to experience severe sickle cell crisis because of the dramatic change in the climate after moving from Mississippi to Hampton.
There were times in which doctors would tell Kallie that there was a slim chance in which she would recover from her pain crisis and that she was close to death.
“I walk by faith, and not by sight! Doctor’s cannot determine what God has in store for me and I know that he has a greater plan for my future.”, says Kallie. She is motivated every day to continue this race for herself.
Kallie is currently a band manager, has participated in Hampton University’s Student Recruitment Team, Rose Petals, Women’s Caucus, and is a new member of Q.U.E.E.N. After graduation, Kallie has plans to go nursing school and become a RN.
“From my life experiences, I’ve seen how bad nurses have treated me and I’ve seen how good nurses have made a much greater impact on my life. People who are in the hospital regularly like me need the smile when no one else is there. I want to be able to make people feel better and to be the good company that they need to comfort them,” said Kallie.
The light that she saw in her mentee is currently exuding through her continuous efforts to make a difference in the community, raising Sickle Cell Awareness, and continuing to fight every day to touch the lives of others.