RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
Sickle cell disease doesn't stop James Frazier II from making the most out of each day.
"My day is just like anyone else's day," Frazier said. "I get up, suit up and show up for whatever life has for me that day."
He spends many of his days at Mosby Memorial Baptist Church in Richmond, where he serves as an associate minister.
But Frazier's ministry isn't confined to the church; he shares his testimony with sickle cell disease wherever he goes.
"I like to think I have sickle cell, sickle cell doesn't have me," Frazier said.
That's the message he share with patients who come to the Bon Secours Outpatient Pharmacy, where he works as a pharmacist. Like anyone who has dealt with sickness, Frazier can relate to their feelings of frustration and despair.
"Just to be there to help them work through those issues and to let them know it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay," he said.
Frazier always knew he had sickle cell disease. The genetic blood disorder causes sickle-shaped cells to get stuck and blocks blood flow to different organs. The main symptom is pain.
"Whether it's in my back, leg, wherever it is, it's just pain," Frazier said.
But even with the pain, Frazier remains positive and gets the most joy from sharing his outlook on life with others. For him, that's ministry.
"Any kind of service, I believe, can be used as a ministry," he said.
You can meet Frazier and many other sickle cell survivors at this year's Unity Ride on May 3. It's the biggest fundraiser to fight the disease in the ABC 8News viewing area.