Sickle cell disease is an inherited
disorder. More specifically, sickle cell disease is an autosomal recessive
disease. This means that to have the disease, a person must inherit an abnormal
gene from both parents.
ancestors were from Africa, India, the Middle East, the Mediterranean (Turkey,
Italy, Greece), and some Latin American countries are more likely to inherit
the gene that can cause sickle cell disease. In the United States, about 2,000 children are born each year with sickle cell disease.1
My parents first knew something was wrong with me when I was 3 months old. I was constantly in pain, constantly crying. They thought I had rheumatic fever or polio. The townspeople would come over and sit by my bed and pray.
After seeing local doctors, I was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when I was 6. It's a disease that makes your red blood cells grow in a crescent shape, which means they can block blood vessels and stop oxygen from getting to the cells. That causes pain and anemia and can...