As the Founder-Executive Director of Falling Angels, Ms. Settles had a vision in August 2009 which she carried in her heart for several years. That vision was to educate, locate resources, provide tutelage services for those who were hospitalized during lengthy bouts of the sickle cell attacks, and to provide counseling. She would be the voice for those affected by the disease. More importantly, she envisioned a “Infusion House,” to be established to service people in the Rockland County area. The Falling Angels Foundation officially came to fruition as a non-profit foundation, 501(3)c in February 2011.
Ms. Settles is from a large family consisting of four brothers, seven sisters, and forty-eight nieces and nephews. She is the mother of a daughter who lives with the sickle cell disease every day. Sickle cell disease was foreign to her. There was very little knowledge or information about the disease when her daughter was diagnosed so she began researching information about sickle cell. Her goal was to become knowledgeable with all issues related to the disease so she could locate resources to improve the quality of health for her daughter Atiya.
One of her biggest challenges was watching her daughter go through a “sickle cell crisis” and feel absolutely helpless. Her daughter’s faith and unconditional love no matter what she was going through was the perfect example for Ms. Settles to remain strong. She often experienced frustration due to the doctors and nurses lack of knowledge about the disease. They were not knowledgeable in the proper medications to prescribe.
In the late eighties, there were a few support groups for sickle cell patients at Montefiore Hospital. When she formed the Falling Angels Foundation her vision was to engage families, patients, and caregivers who were committed to improve the quality of life for those with sickle cell disease. To this day she continues to build a team of individuals who are bringing awareness to the schools, doctors, and hospitals for better treatment of patients. She strives for better education and support for sickle cell children and adults in crisis as well as their families. She is committed to bringing hope. Through the Falling Angels Foundation, those with sickle cell Disease will have a voice and an advocate. An estimated 100,000 people live with sickle cell disease in the U. S. and millions are affected globally. The foundation seeks to break the silence of sickle cell disease and create an environment where everyone with the disease or its related conditions is properly diagnosed and offered modern medical and psychosocial services. The foundation’s mission is to help those with sickle cell to have a chance in life.