Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is a genetically inherited condition that affects the shape and function of red blood cells. Under stress such as infection or cold temperatures, round red blood cells become sickled (crescent-shaped) and stiff. This causes them to get stuck in small blood vessels, causing tremendous pain.

Sickle cell disease predominantly affects people of African or Mediterranean origin. One can be a carrier of the condition with few or no symptoms, but still pass it on to one’s child if the child’s other parent is also a carrier.

Due to better prevention and treatment for individuals having sickle crises, the condition is no longer always fatal in childhood. VIA’s focus on sickle cell disease enabled adolescents to share the realities of their life with a chronic illness, and allowed them to show the challenges they face and the successes they realize in their transition from pediatric to adult medical care.

Participants showed themselves interacting with friends and family, participating in activities ranging from basketball to step dancing, and discussing choices they have made in managing their health.

A mom shares a
>> Watch video

A participant dances
at a talent show
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Describing the pain of
a sickle cell crisis
>> Watch video

Requires Quicktime 7

Core Staff:
Michael Rich
Jennifer Patashnick
Julie Polvinen
Julia Szymczak
Richard Chalfen

Other Staff:
Kevin Taylor Anderson
Julie Crinière
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