Angela Holloman is the 2012 Courage Award winner for the Annual Crescent Moon Gala. To hold a title such as the Courage Award Winner, Holloman said she was honored. “I felt like I was not alone, other people understood where I was coming from. That one moment vindicates everything I went through,” Holloman said.

Holloman has been living with the sickle cell disease for over 20 years. At the age of 8 Holloman knew that she was different. “I didn’t understand until I was unable to do the things other children did, I knew then that I was different,” Holloman said. However, it was not until Holloman was a teenager that she realized the full extent of her illness. “You don’t come to fully understand it or get the full definition of it until you are a teenager,” she said.

Faced with the possibilities of a crippling disease, Holloman believes that sickle cell is just one of life’s burdens. Holloman encourages those who suffer from the life threatening disease to never give up. “No matter what doctors may say, they don’t rule your life, you make your life what you want it to be,” she said.

One of the biggest misconceptions that some people have about sickle cell patients is their constant need for medical treatment. Even though the sickle cell disease and trait vary in the medical field, Holloman makes it clear that the required treatment is the same in both cases. “Doctors don’t believe that those with the sickle cell trait can actually have pain,” she said.

As the 2011 Courage Award winner Holloman encourages this year’s winner to “keep fighting and be encouraging to other people,” said Holloman.