By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Youthful energy and a smile lighting up the EA Harrold Cafeteria stage, Sam Curry stood in front of the entire school to make a special announcement.
The 6-year-old proudly stood next to his mother Alycia Monday afternoon to kickoff the 2018 EA Harrold Coin Drive to fight Cystic Fibrosis from April 18-May 4. As some of Sam’s peers heard the term Cystic Fibrosis for the first time, the Kindergarten student of Mrs. Spencer has been battling the disease his whole life.
“We’re having an assembly today, a rally for Sam,” Alycia noted. “He’s 6 and he has Cystic Fibrosis. We’re doing a coin drive for him to collect and help us raise money for a cure.
“It’s a chronic illness that effects his lungs and digestive system,” she added. “Everyday he has to take medicine before he eats. His pancreas is insufficient. He needs medicine to absorb his food. He does treatments mornings and nights everyday. Routine doctor appointments and all the maintenance just to keep him healthy and normal like other kids.”
Medical experts say Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections.
Other signs and symptoms may include sinus infections, poor growth, fatty stool, clubbing of the fingers and toes.
Entering school this past August, Sam was looking forward to beginning his academic journey in Millington schools just like his mother Alycia. But his introduction to EA Harrold was brief.
“The teachers are awesome,” Alycia said. “I can’t say enough good things about this school. They have been behind him 100 percent with any concerns going on. When he was in the hospital. He was at this school for a week when he got admitted into the hospital.
“Only going here a week or two, they sent a gift to him,” she added. “They made cards and it’s just been overwhelming the amount of support they have given him. Plus he stays after school at the YMCA and they have been great to him too.”
When Sam isn’t busy battling Cystic Fibrosis, he’s a normal 6-year-old and big brother of 2-year-old sister Luzetta.
“He’s doing good — as good as he can be doing,” Alycia said. “We don’t have as many flare ups as other kids might see. We’re thankful for that. It’s just a maintenance thing of waking up every morning and every night doing treatments. The nurse here is awesome about giving him medicine and doing to him what needs to be done.”
The Curry family will continue their battle and get the word out about Cystic Fibrosis. Alycia is encouraging EA Harrold parents and others to donate to the coin drive until May 4. Then the following day, Sam and the Sammy’s Steppers will be at the Memphis Zoo for the Great Strides. For 30 years, Great Strides – the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event – has supported the Foundation’s mission to cure cystic fibrosis and raise awareness. The walk benefiting Cystic Fibrosis has a 8 a.m. check-in with the walk beginning an hour later. It’s a two-mile course and for more information, call 901-759-1095 or visit the Facebook page Sammy’s Steppers.