Little Asiya

Little Asiya

The brand FathersFootprints is born out of a love for God, family and the Black community.  When I encountered a family who possessed a child with a disease, I was deeply moved.  Like many other families, ours is one that has a child with an incurable disease.

Recently,   Christina Shabazz reached out to me with a unique and rare request.  Realizing the nature of the FathersFootprints audience, Ms. Shabazz requested that I educate and advocate on behalf of her daughter Asiya  Shabazz.  At the tender age of 16 months, Asiya has been stricken with Mitochondrial Disease. 

Christina is a wife and a mother to five girls.  Her daily grind largely includes caring for Asiya (with the assistance of a daily home nurse) and her family.  A graduate of Ball State University, Christina finds herself committed to a life caring for her family 24/7.

According to UMDF, mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. The disease primarily affects children, but adult onset is becoming more and more common.

As many of these patients appear to be “normal”, many clinicians and politicians do not understand the impact of the disease or the importance of its research.  We need to understand the significance of this disease and how it affects us all; and how we as a community can help this cause.

The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation is redefining hope for families affected by mitochondrial diseases – hereditary disorders, now considered as common as childhood cancers that affect the cell’s ability to produce life sustaining energy. The UMDF offers support to all sufferers of mitochondrial disorders regardless of diagnosis, suspected or confirmed.

On October 17, 2009, the Atlanta chapter of the UMDF will be hosting a Walk-A-Thon/Family Fun Day in historic downtown Norcross’ Thrasher Park to help raise awareness and research funding for cures.  This event is to help spread awareness of the disease and to raise funds for further research. More information about the walk can be found at .

The Shabazz family has started team ‘Asiya’s Hope’ in honor of their daughter.  Regardless of your religious affiliations, I ask you to pray the Shabazz family and the thousands of other families being affected by this disease.  I believe that prayer changes things.

I close with one of my favorite biblical scriptures, “…and we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose”(Romans 8:28).

Until next time,

Damon signature

Asiya's mom - Christina

Asiya's mom - Christina

  1. Candice Marie...xo says:

    Lady Shabazz,

    Holding precious Asiya, you, and the Shabazz family in my prayers. Thank you for sharing the devastating effects of a disease that seemingly quietly affects so many. I use the word, “quietly” because it’s not a widely known disease. Fight on dearest, Asiya.

    All my love,
    Candice Marie…xo

  2. drew says:

    Prayers for the strong little lady and the mother who must be strong for everyone. I will definitely go to the site and do my part. I will also forward this blog to my contacts. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Christina Shabazz says:

    I just want to thank you all for the kind words and your support and prayer! It means so much to me that everyone that gets this little bit of information is more educated than before…because Ms. Candice is correct, it IS “quietly” affecting MANY people. Mitochondrial Disease is actually an underlying cause for many of the well-known diseases/cancers out there! Just think…if we can find a cure for this disease…there will be a cure for many other diseases! Remember, for every disease that is out there, GOD has provided a cure for it…it’s just up to us to take right effort to find it. Thank you, again!

  4. David Pryor says:

    Fight on Asiya. We’re all behind you. Damon, keep these coming. People like me and Asiya need this!!!!

  5. Cynda says:

    Asiya is a fighter…Her parents, my cousins, are fighters…I am so proud of them…

  6. Marie says:

    To Aamir and Christina,
    To paraphrase a scripture, the Word says that God puts no more on us than we can bear. I can only imagine the hardship that Asiya’s disease has brought to the family. Nevetheless,she is so precious in the sight of God, and consider it an honor that God has allowed the two of you to be her parents. He did not make a mistake. My prayers are certainly with you today and always.
    Cousin Marie from Mississippi

  7. Majee says:

    Salaams Christina,
    May Allah continue to bless you, and look after your beautiful family. Only does it take a fighter with a lot of strength to be able to bring awareness while still having to fight. your beautiful Asiya is in my prays along with each one of your princesses!!!!

    With all my love,

  8. Haasan Williams says:

    Christina, my heart goes out to Asiya and the family. Be encouraged everyday knowing that God is in control and he will promote, grace, heal and sustain Asiya. Be brave with strength, and allow God to do the rest. God bless you and your husband–my C.

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