Sickle Cell Speaks
My Story, My Strength
Hear Me, Understand Me.
There are many misconceptions about sickle cell. Like it’s contagious. Like people with sickle cell are drug addicts. Like the only effect is pain. Because of these widespread beliefs, people with this genetic blood disorder may feel misunderstood, even isolated. Eliminating the stigmas surrounding sickle cell begins when we listen, learn, and share.
What is Sickle Cell?
Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. In a person living with sickle cell, some red blood cells change shape and become sickled, or banana-shaped. The sickling process begins with hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. When cells sickle, they can break down and there are fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. This can cause serious, long-term complications. Sickle cell is always causing damage in the body, even when pain might not be felt.