Aspiring Model Doesn’t Let Sickle Cell Anemia Hold Her Back

Bethany Barber is a Virginia native living with sickle cell anemia who has dreams of making it big as a model.

She goes on daily castings, as modeling is her main source of revenue. New York Fashion Week was February 9-16 of this year. Bethany had one confirmed booking for the show and hoped to get more. When she arrived in New York City, she had three castings in one afternoon. This meant a lot of walking, and still showing up on top of her game.

Bethany has overcome so much just to make it to this point.

She was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of four. Sickle cell anemia is a painful condition in which the red blood cells transform from a round shape into a sickle shape. This shape blocks the flow of oxygen in blood vessels.

Currently, there is not a cure for the condition. And although there has been a decline in deaths due to medical advances, the condition can still be fatal.

For Bethany, she states that it feels as if blood is coming through in jolts. The pain is worse in her back, and she described a throbbing feeling in her joints. She used to be hospitalized twice a year for two weeks at a time, up until the last couple of years.

When she was in the hospital, she would study pictures in fashion magazines. She would use them to learn about angles and faces, which has helped her get to this point in her modeling career.

There were times when life felt hard because of the ongoing hospitalizations, but Bethany kept pushing herself. She has modeled for Macy’s, L’Oreal, and Dark and Lovely, just to name a few.

This is only the beginning for Bethany. Sickle cell anemia will not hold her back.

Read more here.

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