Anais is a Cuban-Chinese woman with sickle cell who grew up not knowing anyone else with the disease. Doctors predicted she wouldn’t reach her 21st birthday. Though she’s had to overcome many challenges, she’s celebrated many more birthdays since then. The student, graphic artist, and budding entrepreneur continues to set goals for her future.


“I grew up not knowing anyone with sickle cell.”

— Anais

Understanding the Silent Damage of Sickle Cell

Anais learned the devastating effects of sickle cell beyond the pain crises. She was aware that sickle cell affected her lower back and hips because the pain made it difficult to walk. She then learned from her doctor that sickle cell had affected her spleen — without her even knowing it.

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Anais’ truth: Finding Support

Anais reflects on her experience as a child and teen with sickle cell. Not knowing other people with sickle cell can be alienating and isolating. Now that Anais knows more people who share similar experiences, she has built up a supportive community of friends. Learn how to find support.

Find Support