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6/18/16 - 7pm Nikia Vaughan

In 2012, Nikia Vaughan’s daughter, Cimone was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease at just 6 weeks old.  Upon Cimone’s diagnosis, Nikia and her husband sought out parental support groups in Baltimore.  Nikia’s son, Langston carried the Sickle Cell trait and she needed education on how to cope with all these new developments to her young family.   Unfortunately to their avail, there were no local parental support groups. In 2013, Nikia decided to not advocate for her family, but for the families in Baltimore which would ultimately lead to supporting the entire DMV.  Nikia founded Cimone and Friends,  a parental support group that would assist parents and families of children living with Sickle Cell Disease. Since then, Nikia has raised awareness, funding and provided countless education to not only those affected by Sickle Cell Disease, but to those who were not familiar with the disease at all.  In 2014, Nikia left her career of 13 years to work in community outreach which would engage her in the Sickle Cell Disease community. In 2015, Nikia was offered a Community Health Worker position specifically for Sickle Cell Disease under a HRSA grant. This grant would also lead her to a fellowship at The Adult Sickle Cell Infusion Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital working closely with Dr. Sophie Lanzkron, a renowned Adult Sickle Cell Hematologist. Nikia also works very closely with Lifebridge Health in Baltimore, where Cimone receives her pediatric care for Sickle Cell Disease.  In 2015, Nikia formed a band consisting of local talent who donated their talent to Cimone and Friend’s inaugural Rock Out Sickle Cell concert.  Rock Out Sickle Cell was a sell out to a standing room only audience. This exceeded Nikia’s expectations.    Your personal or professional bio. World Sickle Cell Day is officially June 19th and   Rocking Out World Sickle Cell Day is a continuance of advocacy and education to this very underserved disease. Nikia vows to continue the fight for funding, education and advocacy, not only for her family, but for all those affected by Sickle Cell Disease. Until a definitive cure is found, Nikia will never stop, until her last breath.