Mekhi shares his experiences dealing with a debilitating pain crisis when he was younger. Figuring out how to manage his sickle cell was a process. He tried different medications and self-care routines. He benefited from the support of his family and classmates. Now, he rarely has pain crises and plays on his high school football team. He wants to take his passions for science and sports and become a sports medicine doctor or a physical therapist.


At football camp, “I explained [to my teammates] that I had sickle cell and a lot of people didn’t know that. They were amazed at how I was managing all that and playing football.”

— Mekhi

Understanding the importance of oxygen in your blood

If your body doesn’t get the blood and oxygen that it needs, it can cause pain and damage to your organs. The pain of a pain crisis is unlike anything else. People describe it as the feeling that all their bones are breaking, or that their blood feels “stuck,” as though it’s in an hourglass. Sickle cell crises often affect the bones, lungs, abdomen, and joints. It can be excruciating. and it is also a signal that something serious could be happening in the person’s body. Mekhi dealt with the effects of his pain crises and he overcame them.

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Mekhi's truth: Growing up and dreaming big

Mekhi’s experience with sickle cell hasn’t been easy, but he has learned how to manage his symptoms. Now, he’s more engaged in managing his relationships and making plans for the future. You can see the resilience on his face and hear it in his voice. His strength is demonstrated by his courage to share what he faces.

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