Share this article

Diagnosed With Sickle Cell Disease, NFL Star Tevin Coleman and Wife Detail 4 YO Daughter’s Gritty Fight: “No One Ever Talked to Me”

Published 06/21/2023, 7:59 AM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

Beneath the glitz and glamor of the NFL world, some individuals silently fight against sickle cell disease. It’s certainly more common than you think. This genetic blood disorder brings challenges, from excruciating pain to increased infection risk. But amidst the struggle, advancements in medical care offer hope, and 49-ers RB Tevin Coleman is a star example.

America’s Favorite Video Today

He wasn’t aware that he carried sickle-cell disease until he suffered from fatigue during soccer training. Despite struggling to finish practices, he never gave up. However, it was a hard pill to swallow when, in 2017, Tevin and his wife Akilah discovered that one of their twins, Nazaneen, would have unique health needs thanks to this heart-wrenching disease.

Tevin Coleman and Akilah’s Battle Against Sickle Cell


Article continues below this ad

Despite facing challenges on the field, Tevin Coleman has proven himself a valuable asset to the 49ers. His record of five touches for 70 yards and two scores is a testament to his hard work and dedication. However, the star San Francisco 49ers RB has not always been just a player but has used the NFL platform to raise awareness for sickle cell. After all, it was tough to know how his, then 4-months old daughter, would have to push through the effects of this disease.

However, Tevin and Akilah quickly learned much about managing Nazaneen’s symptoms but weren’t ready to go public with their story immediately. “I just wanted to protect my daughter when I first learned she first had it,” Tevin has now shared. “I wanted to protect her — from the public, from everybody. So that’s why I didn’t say anything at first.”


Get instantly notified of the hottest NFL stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

“If You Were My Kid, We Wouldn’t Even Be…”- Former Super Bowl Winner Once Narrated the Chilling Tale of How Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin Saved Him From Himself

However, in a recent interview with InsideSan Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman opened up about how the duo manages the disease with a “playbook.” In this 40-second spot released earlier this month, Coleman and his wife Akilah outline their experience and share how “Communication is big for us and our daughter every day. Proactive care is vital for people living with sickle cell.”


Article continues below this ad

Raising Nazaneen’s Fierce Spirit by Eliminating the Fear of the Disease

For Coleman, juggling Nazaneen’s sickle cell disease with the fact that she is only four years old is part of the reality. He and Akilah work to keep Nazaneen focused on what she enjoys doing while also working to prevent a pain crisis and hospital visits. “We merely instill in her the skills of self-care and pain recognition. We show her how to see that through a child’s perspective.” Though Tevin and Akilah say Nezerah doesn’t know his twin sister’s diagnosis, they feel like “it’s almost as if he knows.”


Article continues below this ad

But the efforts don’t end here. It is heartwarming to know that this NFL running back put up his game-worn cleats for auction to benefit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. They made the cleats keeping Nazaneen in mind. That’s why they’re extra special. Also, he recently bought a beautiful double-sided diamond pendant that features his two lovely children. We believe the spirit of family keeps you going, doesn’t it?

Watch this Story: Tom Brady Went to the Same High School as This Controversial MLB Hall of Famer Who Was Also a 14x All-Star

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Yashika Garg


One take at a time

Edited by:

Abigail Kevichusa