What Is Sickle Cell Disease?

Did you know that September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month?

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that involves red blood cells (RBCs). RBCs are usually shaped like round discs in healthy individuals, but people with Sickle Cell have RBCs shaped like crescent moons or sickles.Sickle CellThese sickle-shaped cells stick to the wall of blood vessels, slowing down blood flow and decreasing the amount of oxygen reaching the organs.

The symptoms of this disease can be debilitating, but with medication and pain management, people with Sickle Cell can live fairly normal lives.

The following celebrities, who have had Sickle Cell Disease, are proof that people can still accomplish great things in life, regardless of this disease.

  • Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, singer part of TLC
  • Prodigy, rapper
  • Paul Williams of the Temptations
  • Miles Davis, jazz musician
  • Tiki Barber, football player
  • Ryan Clark, football player
  • Santonio Holmes, football player

So can we do about this? “Stop the Sickle Cycle” by sharing information on social media and spreading the news that September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month!

For more information about Sickle Cell, please visit this website: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/sickle-cell-awareness

Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator

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