VERO BEACH, Fla. - For Nazhi Forrest, life is all about the sweet things. From cakes to cookies, there’s not much this green-haired girl from the Treasure Coast can’t make.
But, having a sickle cell disease is anything but sweet. The 16-year-old describes her sickle cell as the single most painful sensation she’s ever experienced.
Through the pain, she bakes.
"To all the families that's battling sickle cell anemia, don't let anyone shatter your dreams and hopes. Always chase your dreams and hopes because you have the brains to do it and the power to do it and always remember that," Forrest said to her YouTube viewers.
The pastry chef started baking at the age of 10 after learning that a special diet could help with the disease she shares with her two sisters.
She described when she began baking: "It was actually brand new. Because then, I did not like going in the kitchen at all. I did not see myself going inside the kitchen. I left that to my parents. But then after I started finding new recipes, my parents got scared. They didn't want me to come inside the kitchen at all. They thought I would have burned the house down. But I told them, I think I got this."
Then came her organization, "Nazhi Thee Baker Angel Foundation," which raises funds for hospitalized children in Florida. She said 100% of the proceeds from her sweets help girls just like her.
"Just to be able to see someone smile or just all of my supports smile, it really warms my heart. Because it means that I accomplished something. I'm sorry, I'm starting to get a little teary-eyed. It really puts me in a state that I know that I'm actually doing something right," Forrest said.
Now, Forrest and her family need your help.
Nazhi’s sister, Shakarra, is in crisis. Earlier this month, the 19-year-old suffered her third stroke. It was during that most recent hospitalization that she was diagnosed with Moyamoya Syndrome, which causes cerebral hemorrhagic strokes and aneurysms. This is a rare condition that her medical team in South Florida has been at a loss on how to manage it.
Shakarra needs specialized care out of state to fix a hole in her heart and blood vessels at the base of her brain.
If you’d like to donate, CLICK HERE.
For more information on Forrest and her nonprofit, visit: https://nazhitheebaker.com