Family of local teen battling sickle-cell anemia receives life-changing gift

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A local family received a life-changing gift Friday from the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation and Project Spark. 

Mark and Patty Smith, owners of Midas of Richmond, presented the China family with a Ford Windstar van, donated by 1-800 Charity Cars and repaired by Midas.

ASK nominated 17-year-old Jasmine China, who was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia shortly after birth. She requires regular transfusions at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. She often visits the hospital between treatments for doctors’ appointments or emergency visits, but the family had trouble getting to appointments without a car.  

This will enable me and my family to do everything, said Nicole China, Jasmine’s mom. To make sure she gets to her appointments, to make sure she can be a part of extracurricular activities now, to get to the grocery store. It’s been a rough two years. 

Jasmine also founded Cells for Life: The Jasmine Cares Project, to raise awareness and blood donations for sickle cell patients, especially African-Americans.

The China family is the first in Virginia to get a car from Project Spark, to help make their lives easier. 

Project Spark is a national initiative created by Midas and 1-800 Charity Cars to get more than 1,000 families, veterans and first responders back on the road.

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