WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — After a Warner Robins man died from sickle cell, his family wants honor him and educate others about the disease.
Lora Cumby learned early on that her youngest son wasn't quite like his brothers.
"I sit there and I'd pray with him, cry with him, but I knew God is able," Cumby said.
Tyrez Moore was diagnosed with sickle cell at birth.
The disease happens when the body fails to produce healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen and it primarily targets African Americans.
"In 2013, he had his organs and all that to shut down. I had 4 specialists to walk away and say there was nothing else they could do. By him having a praying mother, God delivered him and came back 2 years later and took him home," she said.
Moore lived until 2015, passing away at the age of 25.
"He was just a joy to be around. He was regardless of the room he went in, he lit it up. People would know him when he walked in the room whether they knew him or not, by the time he left he was a fan-favorite,” his brother Bobby Cumby Jr. said.
Now, the family hosts an annual walk to bring awareness to the disease, and his brother says it's their way of honoring and educating.
"At the end of the day, we just want people to come out and support to understand this needs awareness. We're going to continue to do our part as a family to continue to keep our brother's name alive and we continue to push awareness out to the world to on trying to find something to fight this crisis," he said.
As they prepare to hand out informational pamphlets and participation trophies, the 5k walk proves to bring healing and happiness.
"It’s just a fun-filled event. We have people coming, running and this and that, but it’s amazing," Lora Cumby said.
The 5k walk in Moore’s honor is this Saturday September 17. It's happening at Sewell Circle Park at 8 a.m.
It is estimated that sickle cell affects one in 13 African American babies. Signs and symptoms can include pain, frequent infections, and swelling of hands and feet.