Charon Simmons was born with sickle cell disease. But it hasn’t kept him from a long list of accomplishments – attending the Orange County Sherriff Explorer program for four years; earning a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo; participating in varsity track and field and graduating high school with a 3.5 GPA – all while periodically receiving medical treatments.
Charon’s parents, Elliott and Star Simmons, raised Charon to, “Live by design and not by diagnosis.”
But on Sept. 1, 2011, Charon suffered a sickle cell crisis and twice went into cardiac arrest. He suffered simultaneous multiple organ failure; at one point doctors gave him a 10 percent chance of survival.
“He received 38 units of blood in 34 days,” recalled Star Simmons. “Charon had the best doctors, but the blood had to be available to give him a chance.”
Star calls her son “a living miracle.”
What made the difference?
“His fighting spirit and LifeStream blood donors,” she said.