Spend a week networking in Memphis and you will quickly find that Memphis is a city filled with amazing people doing amazing things. But what about you? If you are like me, you will find yourself asking questions like Am I having an Impact? Can I do more? Am I living my purpose? What will people remember as my defining moment? Besides questioning one's self, many question our younger generations. Recently I had the privilege of helping to support the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee. I was introduced to a young man by the name of Justin G. Flowers, fast forward a few months and I had been taught a lesson in what is possible when you dare to live your purpose.
The last seven months have not been easy for Justin. In November the founder of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee died of the disease that he devoted his life to fighting. Dr. Trevor K Thompson was a devoted father and husband. He was a teacher and a mentor. He dreamed big and had a way of inspiring others with his dreams. His death left a massive hole in the lives of his supporters. Justin felt the pain of his mentors death in many ways. First, he tried to be strong for the team left behind by Trevor, but there outside the funeral, this became too much for this young 22-year-old sickle cell consumer to bear. The pain led to a massive flowing of tears and then the moment came where you could see how much love Trevor had left behind. Justin found himself surrounded by his team of supporters. Next came the realities that Trevor was not here to run the foundation he started. Now came questions of leadership, management questions about the Foundation, a board of directors doing its best to continue the legacy of Dr. Trevor K Thompson. But no one could replace Trevor and as a result, each day that passes brings a little less of the amazing energy this great man brought to the Sickle Cell community. But seeds had been planted and they were about to sprout.
Justin found himself in the hospital fighting for his life from a sickle cell crisis. Gone from the foundation for over a month at a very critical time, Justin returned finding himself a little lost without his mentor. Dr. Trevor K Thompson had taken Justin under his wings at the age of 15 and now he was 23. Still very committed to the Sickle Cell Foundation, Justin found himself wanting to do more. St Jude Children's Research Hospital and Methodist Hospitals had both used Justin in media materials related to sickle cell. Justin had worked with JustMyMemphis to write, produce, and, direct videos telling the stories of local sickle cell consumers. His mom being the proud mom that she is, had something big in mind for Justin. She advised her son to come up with a magazine for the sickle cell community. Instantly this young man was filled with ideas.
Justin came to JustMyMemphis and asked for help. After just a few weeks the idea for a national online magazine and media platform came to life. Dr. Trevor K Thompson had taught Justin not to put limits on his dreams. This young man went to work on a plan to help sickle cell consumers fight the depression and the negative self-worth issues related to the disease by inspiring them with helpful life tips.
His goals include style, health and fitness, and living channels. Each channel will showcase what is possible when living with sickle cell. Justin will travel the country meeting with trendsetters that can inspire positive and life changing attitudes in the sickle cell community. Justin is making himself available for public speaking engagements. His dream today is to become a motivational personality to help his community Win with Sickle Cell!
Winning with Sickle Cell is an example of how amazing the young people of Memphis can be. Justin is taking his life experiences of living with pain and turning into something amazing for others. He is very thankful for the wonderful doctors at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Methodist for all of their support as he grew up with a disease that is not a part of the national conversation. Justin is working to carry on the legacy of his mentor Dr. Trevor K Thompson. His main focus though is the thousands of people around the country who struggle keeping jobs, who find it hard to expand their education, and who fight for financial stability. Constant pain can keep a person living in a dark world of negative feelings and this is something Justin wants to change by helping these individuals live a life of winning.
Justin has already begun meeting with doctors around the country and he hopes to connect the work being done around the world by the medical community so that a cure for this tragic disease can become a present day reality! Justin G. Flowers is Winning with Sickle Cell and showing us all what is possible when we dare to live our purpose.
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