I’m just going to have to keep on being myself and brightening people’s days

Because of sickle cell anemia, Zion Thomas has spent only four of his 14 Christmases outside of the hospital. He has no working spleen, no gall bladder. He lives with chronic, crippling pain. But Zion refuses to let the genetic blood disorder shake his spirit. He models, acts, dances – and he recently spoke on Capitol Hill to advocate in front of federal lawmakers for sickle cell awareness. Given with what Zion has survived and what he knows he will deal with his entire life, Washington was no big deal.

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