Cancer battle inspires Atlanta teen actress to help others

For Mikari Tarply's Sweet 16, she is raising money for those with sickle cell

Mikari Tarply raises money for sickle cell

In 2018, she was in the movie “Alex & Me.” In 2019, she played Tia in “Queen Sugar.” In 2020, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

All before her 16th birthday.

Mikari Tarply and her parents, Michael and Tomaree Tarpley, have been in isolation since March, when chemotherapy treatments made Mikari too medically fragile to be exposed to anything — especially the coronavirus.

When it became evident the Atlanta actress would not be having the Sweet 16 party she and her mom had been planning, she switched her priorities.

Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Mikari decided to use her time and birthday to help others.

“I’ve learned a lot during this challenging time. I realized that I’m blessed to be here and I’m still alive. Other kids aren’t so lucky. So instead of sitting around being sad that my Sweet 16 Party dreams won’t come to reality, I wondered what I could do to help someone else,” the teen wrote on her fundraising page.

“So instead of asking for presents for my birthday, I would love for everyone to join me by donating $16, $160, $1600 or more to help me reach my goal of $16,000 in support of Sickle Cell Funding at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,” she wrote.

She already has more than $10,000.

According to Mikari’s page, she has been acting since she was 3.

She landed her first principle acting role in 2011, in the award winning, independent short film “Letters to a Father.”

Mikari is also a dancer. She traveled North America as young Nala in Disney’s “The Lion King” National Broadway Tour.

A triple threat, Mikari is a singer and musician like her parents. She plays the guitar and jazz saxophone.

These days, however, she is focusing on getting better and helping others.

“A week ago, I had my last chemo appointment,” Mikari told 11 Alive. “I am feeling amazing.”

She told the news station she is thankful for all she has been through, all she has learned and the opportunity to help others.

“There are so many things to be happy for or grateful for,” she said.

If you’d like to help Mikari reach her goal, you can donate here.