Rehoboth Beach sickle cell anemia warrior Litenia N. Knight celebrated her 65th birthday Oct. 20, and she said she is grateful to see another year.
Knight was born Oct. 20, 1955, in Lakeland, Fla., to Homer Lee and Virginia Knight. She moved to Delaware in 1965, and was adopted and raised by her aunt, the late Ida Melton. Knight attended and graduated from both the Rehoboth School and Sussex Vo-Tech School systems in 1973. Her academic and career focus was in the field of cosmetology, and she earned a living styling hair.
Upon relocating to Rehoboth, Knight became an active member of Friendship Baptist Church in Lewes. For more than 25 years, she served under the leadership of the Rev. George Edwards and his wife Ardeth Edwards. Knight's birthday is also the wedding anniversary of the. Rev. and Mrs. Edwards. This has created a special bond among the three Sussex Countians.
Knight survives her brother, the late Andrew "Chuck" Melton, and daughter, Andrena "Pipp" Knight, who passed in 1984. She currently resides with her daughter Ashley L. Knight and grandson Larry D. "LJ" Oliver Jr., Delaware Sickle Cell Ambassador.
Knight was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia more than 15 years ago. She recalls the physical pain, emotional anxiety, mental stress, and spiritual ups and downs. To add to these difficulties, Knight experienced a life-altering heart attack in 2016. This trauma resulted in anoxic brain damage which left her incapacitated and dependent on numerous medications, oxygen, occupational and physical therapy, and various support systems. Knight extends special recognition and appreciation to family from Florida, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia.
Currently under the medical treatment of the Tunnell Cancer Center in Rehoboth Beach, Knight has received over 15 years of specialized care from Dr. Srihari Peri; Dr. Srujitha Murukutla; Elizabeth Marie Wilson, NP; and attending medical staff. Knight is grateful for her team, and their exceptional patient/customer care services and warm bedside manner.
Her community involvements include the Sunshine Circle Club, Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee, Easterseals and West Side New Beginnings Inc. Her hobbies include traveling, shopping, cooking, collecting jewelry and angels, and nurturing houseplants. She enjoys watching Christmas movies, as well as Tyler Perry's "Madea" plays.
Knight would like to send words of heartfelt encouragement to others experiencing sickle cell anemia. She said, "Recognize the symptoms, such as sudden, intense pain; get tested; exercise prayer and faith; love your family and friends; and recognize that God is No. 1 in your life!"