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ABOUT SICKLE CELL

We are striving to create a world free of Sickle Cell Disease and its burdens.  Won't you join us?

People with sickle Cell disease are born with the condition and it is not contagious. Sickle cell disease is also known as sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that affects the shape of your blood cells.

Red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin that is responsible for the color of the cell and for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood vessels in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles.

Sickled red blood cells do not live as long as healthy ones and the body has a difficult time replacing them. Those who have the disease inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene, one from each parent. 

If a person inherits only one copy of the sickle cell gene, they will have sickle cell trait. People who have sickle cell trait do not have the disease, but they carry one of the genes that causes it. Like people who have sickle cell disease, people with sickle cell trait can pass the gene to their children.


In the United States, sickle cell disease affects an estimated 100,000 people, the majority of whom are African Americans. The largest part of that number is concentrated in five states, Florida, New York and Texas. 55% of patients with sickle cell disease live in just 10 states, according to CDC.

Today, all states screen newborns for sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease occurs in approximately one out of every 500 African American births and one out of every 36,000 Hispanic American births. Additionally, about 2 million people in the United States have sickle cell trait.

Worldwide, sickle cell disease affects millions of people and is particularly common among those whose ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa; Spanish-speaking regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy.


We are striving to create a world free of Sickle Cell Disease and its burdens.  Won't you join us?


The symptoms and complications of sickle cell disease can very widely. Some people have mild symptoms while others have very severe symptoms and are hospitalized frequently for treatment. As mentioned earlier, normal red cells pass smoothly through the blood vessels, but sickled cells are stiff and sticky. The shape and stickiness of the blood cells tend to form clumps that can block blood and oxygen flow and lead to episodes of extreme debilitating pain, known as a SC crises, that over time can lead to other chronic health issues, including damage to vital organs such as the liver, kidney, lungs, heart and spleen.

The complications of the disorder can also cause death. While they are treated with strong painkillers such as morphine to control the pain, treatment of sickle cell mostly focuses on preventing and treating complications.


At this point in time the only known possible cure for sickle cell is a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, a bone marrow transplant is only a possibility for a very limited number of people affected with sickle cell due to a lack of suitable

donors.