Sickle Cell Awareness Month


Sickle cell awareness* is observed in the month of September to shine light on the issues related to Sickle cell disease. In our family, this disease is no stranger because for the past five years we have seen its effect in action, in the life of a vibrant and jubilant five-year old little girl. She’s had many challenges in her young life, with two surgeries, countless hospital stays, including many of those stays spent in the intensive care unit. Yet, through her regular treatments, unexpected trips to the emergency room and daily routine of taking her medication, she has a great and positive spirit. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, that she has been through many bumps in the road and still can come out smiling. I’m often amazed at the information that she retains, even at age three she was keenly aware of what goes on during her treatments and some of her limitations, but that’s her world and she’s very in tuned. This bright five-year old has started kindergarten this year and the wisdom within her is just as big as her size. Her latest thing is telling jokes, sometimes I think I know the answers but she manages to stumps me at times on the punch line. She’s a joy to be around and we hope that she’ll be around to continue to share her lively personality for a very long time to come.

Image courtesy of kidshealth.org

Often times when you or those close to you aren’t affected by a disease you don’t think about it too much, but when it hits close to home, then there’s no ignoring it. I have learned a lot from personal experience about Sickle cell disease (Sickle-cell anemia, in particular) as I’ve also learned a lot from researching the topic, but the key to knowing is getting involved. There are many people who face extreme challenges living with Sickle cell disease as a result of some of its effects and each day is a day of thanksgiving. While there are others with Sickle cell disease who go on to live healthy lives and are seldom affected by it. In the past, the life expectancy for someone with Sickle cell disease did not pass the age of 50, but fortunately, in recent years it’s increased, with new treatments and medication more people are able to live longer lives.

*“Source: 2011 National Health Observances, National Health Information Center, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.”

Find out more information about Sickle cell disease from the following organizations:
American Sickle Cell Anemia Association
Sickle Cell Disease Association
Sickle Cell Society

Casually speaking and all the best,
Mercedes

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