September Is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September is the month where we take the time to educate ourselves and others on Sickle Cell disease. The thing is, millions of people are affected by Sickle Cell and don't even know it.

Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder caused by a defect that makes results in red blood cells being abnormally shaped. A lot of people with Sickle Cell Disease experience this horrible uncontrollable pain called Vaso-occlusive crisis. Sickle Cell Disease mainly affects Black people. In the United States, Sickle Cell affects around 90,000 to 100,000 people.

My wife is in that number of those affected. I remember when she first told me she had Sickle Cell disease back in college. She'd be in the hospital for days sometimes and would have to have a blanket or coat everywhere she went, even in the summer or spring! Staying hydrated was a top priority, and a lot of times her physical activity as limited. I later learned that all of those things were to try to prevent her from going into a sickle cell crisis. That's when her blood flow would be blocked in her veins and it causes uncontrollable pain! The pain could happen anywhere in her body but her hotspots were her back and legs.

After being with my wife for over ten years, I've grown to learn so much about Sickle Cell Disease. I even spent 4 years working at a camp for kids with Sickle Cell and other chronic illnesses. I thought I was a pro since my girlfriend at the time had Sickle Cell and I knew how to take care of her. It turns out, in comparison to most people with Sickle Cell, she has it easy. these kids are spending most of their lives in the hospital, getting medication, not being able to run and play with other kids, can't go more than 30 min without drinking water and so much more. Things that people without the disease may take for granted. Worst of all, people are dying at a range of ages due to Sickle Cell disease. Kids all the way to adults. Would you believe, there are a lot of people in the United States that don't even know they have Sickle Cell Disease or the trait?

Those who have the trait do not have the full-blown disease but still may be able to pass on the actual disease to their child.

I really want people to use this month to educate ourselves on Sickle Cell Disease because doctors and people outside of the medical field don't really know much about it. I see it first hand in the emergency rooms with my wife, and at doctor visits. You can also take the time to get tested for Sickle Cell. It takes less than 5 minutes to get tested.

If you'd like to learn more about Sickle Cell Disease visit Conquering the Curve. They supply resources and education materials on Sickle Cell Disease.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app