Teon | 2015-16 Bball Kid Captain

UnityPoint Clinic - Express

180 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 120
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th St. SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Ave., Ste. 2
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

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Urgent Care - Ankeny

3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Suite E
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

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Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
Suite 101
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

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Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

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Urgent Care - Urbandale

2901 86th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

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Blank Children's Hospital

Teon

Kathy Young describes her son, Teon (TJ), as tougher than most anyone she knows. All his life, TJ has battled sickle cell anemia, asthma and cardiac issues, causing him to push through physical pain every day.

"TJ's condition doesn't allow red blood cells to move through his body easily, and he has half the red blood cells as we do," said Kathy. "He sees a team of doctors monthly, and those who care for him have to coordinate his care very carefully."

TJ's team of doctors includes a hematologist, cardiologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist and pulmonologist, and through all the visits, he never complains. Instead, TJ doesn't want his dad, mom or his sisters to worry about him. He feels sad when he has to be in the hospital and be apart from his family, friends and beloved dogs.

"I adopted TJ when he was 3-years-old, and I knew he was a sweetheart from the moment I met him," said Kathy. "He has a tremendously empathetic spirit."

Regardless of any pain he's in, TJ is an avid sports fan and an accomplished baseball, basketball and football player, having positions such as a left-handed pitcher, point guard and running back. Nicknamed "Tiny T" by his teammates, TJ plays as much as he can, and his coaches always support and encourage him to do so and rest as he needs to. TJ is optimistic for a cure, so he can continue playing the sports he loves.

"At times, I have seen him get out of bed from pain and go to a game to play because his team needs him," said Kathy. "He is little, but mighty."

TJ dreams of becoming a doctor, so that he can help others. And even now, TJ is teaching his peers lessons in staying positive and compassion, just by being an example.

"TJ lives life to the fullest," said Kathy. "It warms my heart to see the impact he's making on others, and I'm so proud of him."