Man creates film to raise awareness for disease - WNEM TV 5

Man creates film to raise awareness for disease

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

About 100,000 people in the country suffer from sickle cell, but one local man has come up with a unique way to fight back.

The disease can cripple those who have it, but not one Mid-Michigan man.

For many residents a trip to the gym is not a big deal, but for Jeremy Sheppard spending a few hours working out is quite an accomplishment.

"To keep some level of fitness, to I guess live some kind of normal lifestyle has been very difficult with what I have," Sheppard said. 

He has sickle cell anemia, which is often a crippling disease that Sheppard said impacts a sufferers ability to just get through the day.

"There will be times where I'll be at work and I literally would just be in pain and I can't tell anyone, 'hey it's kind of hard to move right now.' Because I can feel my blood and my marrow and I'm in pain without sounding like I'm making an excuse," Sheppard said.

Instead of complaining or feeling sorry for himself, Sheppard said he wanted to shine a light on the disease through a film. It's called Super Sickler. In it, his superhero takes on the painful disease to try defeat it.

"I want them to see what we go through, but I also want those that have it to be inspired to know that you're a superhero, to know that you're great, to know that you are an inspiring person that deserves to be seen for what you go through and how you survive," he said. 

Sheppard plans to start production on the 30-minute film next month to coincide with sickle cell awareness month. He said he has a message for his film's villain.

"I'm not my disease. I don't suffer sickle cell, sickle cell suffers me. So make it suffer you," Sheppard said.

The film will be released on social media platforms on Sept. 30.

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