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11-year-old smiles through sickle cell diagnosis

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Posted at 9:30 AM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 06:18:18-05

BALTIMORE — Johns Hopkins Children's Center helps thousands of patients, around the world, every year. 

11-year-old Juliet Pace is one of those people. She was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when she was just a few days old. That basically means she has a shortage of healthy red blood cells so she takes daily medication to plump up her red blood cells. She has to stay warm and drink lots of water. Plus, she has to get bloodwork done every month, which she doesn't mind too much anymore.

"I usually get a prize after, like candy or McDonald’s. One of those two. Once you keep doing it you don’t really cry. It doesn’t really hurt, just like a little pinch," said Juliet.

She said she's able to stay so positive and continue with her contagious smile because of the doctors and nurses and Johns Hopkins as well as her friends and family, especially her parents - Bethany and Damon Pace.

Her dad said faith has been huge for them throughout this process.

"God blessed us with Juliet and I had faith that even when we got confirmation of the diagnosis that God would provide a way and God has. So faith has been a big part."

And even though they wouldn't choose this for their child, Juliet's mom said, "what I’ve come to know now is she is exactly the person she is meant to be and I couldn’t live her life. She is living the life she is meant to live because she has gifts and she has strengths that I don’t possess and I’m grateful for those things that have been revealed this far."

They're grateful for the help from Johns Hopkins and encourage you to donate. During this year's Mix 106.5 Radiothon on 2/24 & 2/24, they raised $1.3 million for pediatric patients.

Bethany said, "at its core it’s about care for people that don’t even know that they might need it and in that way, we encourage everyone to give."