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This memorial website is created in the memory of our beloved SHAYLA DIANE HAMILTON.  Shayla was born on October 5, 1978 in Akron Ohio and passed away on January 14, 2005 at the age of 26 after a courageous battle with Sickle Cell Anemia.  She was a mother, a poet and an artist who loved to draw and dance especially with her nieces, nephews, family and friends.  Shayla was warm, caring, courageous and loved by MANY!  She was beautiful and had a vigor for life that radiated all about her, she never let her illness dim her light.  Shayla was very private and suffered in silence, never letting on to her close friends that she had the disease until she was an adult.  Some of us were very fortunate to see Shayla back to her old self just before her brave battle ended, her memory will remain with us forever!  We will never forget her beautiful smile, sense of humor and amazing bravery.  Although you're gone from us physically, you will live on in our hearts forever! Love you Always, Your Family   

Click here to see Shayla Hamilton's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
To Shayla   / Angel Jackson (Friend)
Missing you even more on days like this!!! Happy Birthday pretty girl😘😘😘😘😘
To Shayla   / Angel Jackson (Friend)
Sittin here reminiscing about our late nights and early mornings in my apartment listening to and singing all the words to different songs!! We use to go hard singin that xscape album!! Love ya and thinkin bout you!!
My friend   / Angel Jackson (Friend)
I think about you so much!! I cant believe its been this long. I tell you one thing time has not made me deal with this situation. I miss you as much today as the day you left and i will never forget you!! I see you in my dreams and everytime i think...  Continue >>
Missing my friend   / Angel Jackson (Friend)
Missing you soooo much girly. Took your girl awhile to get hip to the internet but glad I learned so I can post on your website. I think about you so much but days like today stand out more.When I think about you I hear your laugh in my mind and I ju...  Continue >>
Missing my friend   / Angel Jackson (Friend)
Missing you soooo much girly. Took your girl awhile to get hip to the internet but glad I learned so I can post on your website. I think about you so much but days like today stand out more.When I think about you I hear your laugh in my mind and I ju...  Continue >>
Droppin u a few lines  / Tamika Woods (Lil' Sister )    Read >>
Untill Next Time  / Nikita (duchess) Taylor (niece)    Read >>
happy vday chick  / Apryl     Read >>
Happy Birthday To You  / Tamika (Lil' Sista )    Read >>
We miss you  / Duchess Taylor (neice)    Read >>
Missing You Much  / Tamika Woods (Sister)    Read >>
Thinking of You  / Tamika Woods (sister)    Read >>
MISSING YOU LIKE CRAZY  / Tamika Woods (sister)    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
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Her legacy
Article written about Shayla in local newspaper on Jan 19,2005  
Posted on Wed, Jan. 19, 2005

Stoic mother, poet dies
Shayla Hamilton, 26, loses battle with sickle cell anemia, but never lost spirit

Beacon Journal staff writer

Shayla Hamilton's family found out she had sickle cell anemia when she was just 2 months old.
The inherited blood disorder is a long-term death sentence. It meant she would most likely not live past her 20s.
But, as she grew to understand the disorder -- characterized by pain, anemia, serious infections and vital organ damage -- she became determined never to let it hinder her from trying to attain her dreams.
Ms. Hamilton's life ended on Friday. She was 26 years old. And she had indeed managed to attain much.
She was a mother, a poet, a woman who loved to draw and dance and someone who hoped to become a nurse to help others through illness. She was taking classes off and on at the Ohio Medical Institute.
Family members describe her as warm and caring, courageous, creative, spontaneous and beautiful inside and outside. At 4 feet 10 inches tall, the first thing that stood out about her were her eyes.
But she was also a very private person when it came to her ailment.
``She never wanted people to know she had it,'' said big sister Nichelle Taylor of Cleveland. ``She wanted to be treated like everyone else. She didn't want people to feel sorry for her or to patronize her.'' When she was in school -- she attended Leggett Elementary School, Riedinger Middle School and Central-Hower High School -- she made up excuses for her absences.
``When she was too sick to go to school growing up, she would ask Mom to tell her friends she had the flu or something,'' her sister said. ``Other than maybe one friend, her friends didn't know she had the disease until the last few years when she had more hospital stays.''
In the United States, about 2 million people carry the sickle cell trait. The disease affects primarily African-Americans and Hispanics.
And even though Ms. Hamilton and her family knew the statistics, the death was unexpected.
Ms. Hamilton was released from the hospital last week and family members said she was back to her old self.
But when her mother, who lived nearby, stopped by her daughter's apartment to see how she was doing as she did every day, she found her dead, lying on the floor.
``She was very intelligent, very creative and very lively,'' said another sister, Katrina Dix. ``She had a happy-go-lucky attitude. She never complained about her illness. Many times no one knew how severe her episodes were. I admired her ability to cope with the disease.''
Family members said her most severe episode was when she was pregnant with her daughter and had lung problems associated with sickle cell.
Since her daughter, Natasia, was born, she had not been able to work.
Natasia is now 3, and her mother had taken the time to explain sickle cell anemia. Natasia only carries the trait, meaning she doesn't have the disorder but could pass on the gene that causes it.
Ms. Hamilton explained to her daughter why she couldn't always do things and why she was frequently in the hospital. She would often take her daughter to the park so she could watch Natasia play.
It was also a good place to draw and write her poetry, including a 2002 poem that addressed her illness.
``It was a shock to all of us, but we think she knew,'' Taylor said. ``It sounds as if she never went to sleep from the time she got home from the hospital. She was trying to take care of things before it was her time.''

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in the chapel at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home. Visitation with the family will be from 9:30 to 10 a.m.


The following is a poem Shayla wrote about growing up with sickle cell anemia.

To have something as a child and know you can't get rid of it.
Your mind is like a puzzle, but none of the pieces fit.
To not understand what's going on with yourself. To wonder why it happened
to you instead of someone else.
To be diagnosed with a disease called Sickle Cell. To feel
like you're a prisoner and your body's the jail.
To feel like your organs are being stabbed continuously. And
to have severe pain start up spontaneously.
To lay in a hospital bed with nothing to do. Besides waiting for a
nurse to come and sedate you.
To wonder how long you will actually be alive. Knowing that the life
expectancy is only twenty-five.
To wonder if your child will have it too. And about the pain that
your child could go through.
But until you're in my shoes and have taken that hike. I have
to ask again, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE?"
Written by:Shayla D.Hamilton 8-19-02

Shayla's Photo Album
Shayla & her baby girl Natasia
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