By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
A telethon run from the lobby of the Plaza Hotel in Killeen raised nearly $7,000 locally for the Central Texas Sickle Cell Anemia Association on Sunday.
The Killeen branch of the association raised $6,639 in pledges, cash and checks, said Ruby Graham, the association's office manager.
"We feel like we are kind of disappointed and kind of thankful, because we are glad for what we got," Graham said about not making the goal of $30,000. "We can still use pledges if people want to send in the money."
The association uses the money to help fund its operations of providing help with bills for those with the disease, Graham said.
The association will help pay for medication, electric bills, medical bills and more for those who are struggling and have sickle cell anemia, Graham said.
"We are letting them know that we are here to help those with sickle cell, and that we need people's help," Graham said about the telethon.
Sickle cell anemia may be an attack of pain in the joints or bones.
Other medical problems associated with sickle cell anemia include jaundice, leg ulcers and frequent bacterial infections, according to information by the Central Texas Sickle Cell Anemia Association.
The telethon, which had a combined goal of $70,000 for the Killeen and Waco areas, was aired on Fox 44 in Waco.
Several volunteers offered their time for the telethon, included the Silverlistic Models, Wal-Mart representatives from Copperas Cove, H-E-B
representatives and many black fraternities and sororities.
A gospel comedian, James Carley, donated his time as one of the hosts along with Kim Wynne, of KXXV-TV, and the Babysitter, KIIZ 92.3 FM program director.
"It is just always trying to give back to the people," the Babysitter said. "I have been doing this for so long, because I want to make a difference. I am very happy that I can make a difference."
For some, like Gladys Taylor of Killeen, supporting the cause is more than just making a difference.
Taylor's son, Timothy, was diagnosed with sickle cell at the age of 21 in 1990.
"The doctors gave him up for dead, but he is still living," Taylor said.
Taylor recalled the time she had to talk Timothy into getting his first blood transfusion. It was painful, she said, because he didn't want to have it.
"It means everything if people donate; it could help a person live longer," Taylor said.
Those who still want to donate can call Graham at (254) 690-6060.
The telethon has been going on for about 20 years, Graham said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554.