CLEVELAND (WJW)– This month, we have been introducing you to the most remarkable women of Northeast Ohio.
It is part of our contest that recognizes both local and national women across the country for their amazing deeds.
Today, we are meeting Teresa McCurry of Northeast Ohio.
Teresa’s daughter Meesha died in 1996 from complications of sickle cell anemia the day before Christmas.
But instead of just mourning, Teresa found a new path to move ahead.
“The main reason she passed away was lack of quality of care. So the doctor that was treating her was giving her less than standard quality of care, so she didn’t. have to pass a way. That’s the miseducation about sickle cell even in the medical community,” McCurry said.
Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease where blood cells are shaped like a half moon or sickle, and don’t properly carry oxygen. People who have it can be in constant pain or left weakened by lack of healthy blood cells. The disease primarily affects African Americans and medical research has lagged.
So McCurry got involved with support groups that helped educate people about sickle cell, and offer comfort and emotional support for families. But after a few years, she found that people just didn’t need moral support they needed much more.
“I ran into a lady at my job, and she had sickle cell and she needed some money to help her get her medicine and help her buy some food and that was the need. And we created the MCS Fund,” she said.
The Meesha C. Saxton Fund, or MCS, doesn’t give out money, but makes micro payments for people struggling to pay medical or other bills. Many people with sickle cell can’t work steady jobs and many wind up on disability.
McCurry said this is just a way to give people a little help when they really need it.
“When I found out what the disability check is, who can live off of that? So you still need help with medicine, you still need help with groceries, your light bill, your gas bill and things like that. And that’s when the MCS Fund comes along,” McCurry said.
She didn’t stop there. She said it was like she found a new purpose for herself and a calling: To live every day to the fullest and to do it with compassion for others.
Now, McCurry’s days are packed with tasks she hopes help others. She may host a pastors’ conference, she’s writing new chapters in her latest book, she’s texting someone about being an entrepreneur, she’s chatting on the phone for hours to a person in crisis, she’s taking college classes or she’s giving blood.
Teresa and her husband Pastor Gregory McCurry lead at the New Beginnings Ministries where they try to be hub of help for their community. They have an active food pantry that in this time of COVID-19 helps a lot of people.
Her friends call her Super T because she tries to pack every day with good work. Out of her tragedy, came clarity and purpose.
“It really made my faith more firm. One, because she was a baby and had no sin so I knew iI had to get my life together so I could see her again,” she said.
Tune in next Tuesday on FOX 8 News in the Morning to win our third finalist in the contest.