Gulfport Girl Inspires Through Her Struggles

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Since she was 7 months old, Erriel Jones has been a fighter.

"She just pushes right through, pushes right through and just knocks it out of the way. She fights," says Erriel's mother Gloria Pittman.

Erriel has sickle cell and suffers from frequent strokes as a result of a neurological nerve disorder.

But, her will to survive has inspired many, including the Harrison Central High School Basketball Team. They came out before their senior prom to help Erriel celebrate her upcoming graduation. The bond between Ariel and the team grew even stronger, late last year, when Erriel known as a fighter, needed a little help during a tough time.

"She had broke down all the way in September and October of '07.  When we received that t-shirt, it was just so great," says Pittman.

The team heard about Erriel's tough time and sent her a team autographed t-shirt.  It was just the push Erriel needed to fight through her period of severe illness.

"She taught me not to give up and anything can be accomplished as long as you want to work hard for it," says Antione McInns, basketball player.

"To see the response of a young lady who had the energy to rejuvenate herself and live is the lesson they got out of it," says Keith Warren, the Assistant Coach of the Harrison Central Basketball Team.

Though shy by nature, Erriel lives by words rooted in her will to make it.

"Just keep believing in yourself and never give up," says Erriel Jones.

Erriel will graduate on May 24th, 2008.