September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and there’s no better time to share the story of Kennedy Cooper, a precocious girl with sickle cell disease. In her deeply personal blog for Texas Children’s Hospital, Cooper tells her story of pain and perseverance while educating the masses on the disease that affects so many.
“To put it simply, SCD is a group of inherited disorders where the red blood cells are sickle-shaped and broken down,” she says. “SCD can’t be developed, and it’s not contagious. These cells are inflexible and can easily cause clotting. This can bring pain and complications, like loss of oxygen. To note, sickle cell trait (SCT) is a less aggressive condition in which a child inherits the sickle cell gene mutation from a parent. Those with SCT usually don’t experience SCD symptoms throughout their lifetime. If two parents with SCT have a child, there’s a 50 percent chance their child will have SCT, 25 percent chance for SCD and 25 percent chance of normalcy. I was the first 25 percent chance, and I got SCD.” FULL STORY (EBONY.COM)