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Noey Arroyo just never gives up.

As a student at Anderson Mill Elementary in Moore, 10-year-old Noey models perseverance for everyone she meets. Noey and her younger sister have sickle cell anemia, which has resulted in many hospitalizations for Noey. Despite the challenges, her parents, Felipe and Valerie Arroyo, encourage her to stay true to her spunky nature.

“The disease causes severe pain crises,” Valerie Arroyo said. “The disease tries to isolate you, but when you have a sibling with the same disease, you can lean on each other.”

Because of her condition, Noey can’t go out for recess if it is too hot or too cold.

“The library became her comfort zone,” Valerie Arroyo said. “In doing that, she became a really good reader.”

Now, Noey helps others with reading and she enjoys reading to special education students at her school.

“I enjoy them and they’re nice and super fun,” Noey said. “I like to help people. It’s fun to help people. It’s my thing.”

In addition to winning the school’s geography bee, serving in Beta Club and more, Noey recently volunteered to educate student council members about sickle cell anemia and helped lead a “Bags of Love” initiative which partnered the school with a foundation to create activity bags for children receiving infusions at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.

“She’s a character,” Valerie Arroyo said. “She’s a regular kid who we say has a disease that does not have her.”

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