Charles was one-and-a-half years old when he was diagnosed with sickle cell disease. He has been hospitalized many times during his lifetime, having endured frequent blood diffusions. He is at higher-than-normal risk for infection due to complications that affect his body’s ability to fight illness. Charles is also afflicted with severe pain and will soon undergo bone marrow transplantation, a risky procedure used only in the most severe sickle cell disease cases.
In addition to cheering on his team, the NFC, during the Pro-Bowl, Charles was treated to several of the Pro-Bowl festivities that took place prior to the game. He also received a private tour of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor with the San Diego Chargers Cheerleading Squad. His mother says he loved being the center of attention amid the bevy of beautiful ladies.
Charles also got to enjoy the official NFL Pro-Bowl Tailgate Party, Charles met several team mascots, took pictures with NFL cheerleading teams, got NFL temporary tattoos and even managed to secure a few autographs from NFL players who were in town to watch the game.
By far, Charles’ favorite part of going to Hawaii was seeing his team (the NFC) win the Pro Bowl game. As the players exited the field after the game, he was able to catch a glove that was worn during the game and thrown into the stands by one of the NFC players!