Inspiring More Minds

    Being kind is not the same as being nice; you don’t always have to be nice, but you should always try to be kind.   Be brave. Try things that scare you.   Speak up for yourself and your friends.   Speak up to your friends when they’re causing you pain.   If you try and fail, cry about it, then figure it out and move forward.   Love people fearlessly, even after you’ve been hurt.   Be earnest.   Be present.   Give yourself room to grow.   Forgive yourself when things go wrong.   Remember that tomorrow is a second chance.    Be yourself.   Be as much of yourself as you want to be, all the time.   Be loud, be intense, be ambitious, be defensive, be sad, be angry, be unapologetic about anything you are that isn’t hurting other people — and when other people tell you that you’re hurting them, apologize and be better. --
by Amy Poehlery
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SCD Facts

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a very serious chronic illness affecting the normality of the red blood cells. Aptly named, sickle cells differ from normal blood cells because they are sickle shaped (like a crescent or banana).  Normal red blood cells are doughnut shaped with indents (not holes) in the center.  Normal blood cells flow freely through the blood vessel whereas sickle cells are stiff and sticky and tend to clump together blocking the flow of blood through the blood vessels, throughout the body.

Red blood cells contain an iron rich protein known as hemoglobin.  This protein carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.  Sickle cells contain abnormal hemoglobin which cause the cells to develop the abnormal crescent, sickle shape.

Sickle cells are rigid and sticky.  They block the blood flow and this results in excruciating pain (especially in the joints); damage to the organs; an increase in the risk of infection and a host of other complications.  These complications include strokes, Acute Chest Syndrome, necrosis of the bones, pulmonary embolisms, Hand-Foot Syndrome causing swelling in the hands and feet.

Normal red blood cells live for approximately 120 days whereas sickle cells only live for 10-20 days.  Because sickle cells die early, there is always a shortage of red blood cells.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease that is inherited. You cannot catch SCD because it is NOT contagious.

There is still no widely available cure for Sickle Cell Disease.  However, current medical research shows progress and promise for the future.  Presently, bone marrow transplants offer a cure, however only for a very small number of individuals.

According to the CDC, there are between 90,000 and 100,000 individuals with SCD in the United States.  One out of every 12 African Americans are born with Sickle Cell trait in the United States. 
  • About 1 out of every 500 African-American babies born in the United States has Sickle Cell Disease.
  • Miles Davis, Paul Williams, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC, Prodigy of the rap group Mobb Deep and Georgeanna Tillman are famous celebrities that have or had Sickle Cell Disease.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia was the first diagnosed disease that was linked to the hemoglobin protein and genetically characterized. 
  • Any one of any race can have sickle cell this is why in more than 40 states every single baby born is tested for Sickle Cell.
  • Pain is not the only symptom of Sickle cell, blood flow can be interrupted any where even in your organs this is why the most devastating thing that this disease can do is cause a STROKE.
  • There is only 1 medication that is FDA approved to treat Sickle Cell Disease.  Many medications treat the symptoms, but Hydroxyurea is the only medication to treat the disease. 
  • Sickle Pain Crises happen because the blood flow is blocked and the tissue is dying, the same reason that people have pain from a heart attack.  You can think of a Sickle Cell crises as having heart attacks all over your body.

Sickle Cell Trait

About 1 out of every 12 African-Americans has Sickle Cell trait and about 1 out of every 100 Latinos has Sickle Cell trait.
Sickle Cell trait also affects many people whose ancestors came from Africa, Latin America, Asia, India, and the Mediterranean region. However, it is possible for a person of any race or nationality to have Sickle Cell trait.
It is believed that Sickle Cell trait first appeared long ago in areas of the world where people started getting sick from malaria. Usually, a person with sickle cell trait has increased protection against malaria.
People with Sickle Cell trait have red blood cells that have normal hemoglobin A, and abnormal hemoglobin. The abnormal hemoglobin is called hemoglobin S. People with Sickle Cell trait have slightly more hemoglobin A than hemoglobin S. They have enough hemoglobin A to help their red blood cells carry oxygen to the body.