Meet Trevor Thompson Jr., “the shining jewel” of the 10th Anniversary of the Mark Walden Memorial Sickle Cell & Thalassemia 5K. (Courtesy photo)

by Jerome Robinson, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

On November 10th of 2016, Dr. Trevor K. Thompson’s life came to an end. Trevor is how most people know him.

He was the guy with the big smile, the big heart and big dreams. He dedicated his life to helping people with sickle cell fight. He wanted more than just to help them deal with the disease. He wanted to provide a place to help the whole person. He wanted to give support to help deal with the mental, physical and financial hardships.

While this goal may seem large, it was nothing compared to the big picture Trevor had in his mind.  He wanted to cure the disease that took his life.

Trevor was not your average guy, so even his death was different than most. You see for most people their dreams and goals die with them, this was not the case for Dr. Trevor K. Thompson. On September 30th, the Sickle cell Foundation of Tennessee hosted the 10th Anniversary of the Mark Walden Memorial Sickle cell & Thalassemia 5K.

I can tell you this, if Dr. Trevor K. Thompson could speak today, I am sure he would first say thank you to all the amazing people that have worked so hard to continue the race and the foundation he created. He would say thank you to the students of MAHS: Memphis Academy of Health Sciences. He would give a big thank you to his brothers at Alpha Phi Alpha. He would show his pride for the amazing performances by the Young Actors Guild.

Then he would turn to his amazing wife, Cherry W. Whitehead-Thompson, and say thank you for all of this, and especially for the gift that young Trevor Jr. has become!

Young Trevor Thompson Jr. was the shining jewel of the flawless event that was the 10th Anniversary of the Mark Walden Memorial Sickle cell & Thalassemia 5K.  The great parenting of Dr. Trevor K. Thompson and his wife Cherry was on display for all to see.  At eight years old, Trevor Thompson Jr. starts a new legacy.

Trevor had an event radio and you could hear him constantly sharing his excitement with his mom as he found new and more “WOW!” moments at the race.  He was everywhere with the JustMyMemphis cameras taking pictures and videos.  This young man took more than 900 photos during the race.

He was on stage to accept a college scholarship from the board of directors of the Sickle cell Foundation. He was at the finish line giving high fives to the racers as they completed their run. Dr. Trevor K. Thompson started the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee with his wife, and on this day, his son displayed the joy and the energy that was passed down to him from his parents.

Cherry and Trevor Jr. took the lead in raising the bar for what it means to be great in Memphis. Cherry stepped into the role of the logistics chair for the race. She did not do this alone, though. Joseph Lee III, Micheal A. Jackson, Shelfina Annaye, and Emily Webster worked tirelessly to make this happen.

The work paid off big time. The 10th Anniversary of the Mark Walden Memorial Sickle Cell & Thalassemia 5K hit all its targets and then some. This year all the numbers were bigger than ever before. The event raised more money, it had more racers, and there were more attendees than ever before.

Local 24, The New Tri-State Defender and JustMyMemphis cranked out stories, videos, articles and posts to make sure everyone knew about this event. The Brand Squad pitched in to help with PR. The end result was an event that Memphis could be proud of.

Seeing the people of Memphis coming together to make something amazing happen was truly inspiring.  Because of this event, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee will be able to do more for consumers of sickle cell through out our state.

You can help the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee by making a donation at www.sicklecelltn.org.

Young Trevor Thompson Jr. starts a new legacy for sickle cell consumers and for the City of Memphis.  With a smile, excitement and lots of energy, Trevor showed us that we can all be amazing.  We can take a loss and turn it into a “Champions Call!”

If an eight year old can turn the worst lemons life could give him into something that tastes like the sweetest lemonade you ever had, then all of us can decide today that greatness is in our reach!