Marqus and Ashley Valentine of Lisle are the Blood Services Heroes. Marqus was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when he was just six months old. Although Marqus was given a short-life expectancy by doctors, he beat the odds and credits his family’s support. Two years ago, Marqus, now 35, and his younger sister Ashley, founded the non-profit organization Sick Cells to promote awareness of and advocacy for the sickle cell community. Ashley, who holds a master’s degree in research methods advocates to government officials locally and in Washington, D.C. for improved health care coverage and treatment for sickle cell patients across the country.