Amani’s Journey Fighting for Freedom From Sickle Cell Disease
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What is Sickle Cell?
The term Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) describes a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. “Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. SCD is not contagious. A person cannot catch it, like a cold or infection, from someone else. People who have SCD inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. In all forms of SCD, at least one of the two abnormal genes causes a person’s body to make hemoglobin S. When a person has two hemoglobin S genes, Hemoglobin SS, the disease is called sickle cell anemia. This is the most common and often most severe kind of SCD. Hemoglobin SC disease and hemoglobin Sβ thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) are two other common forms of SCD. There are different forms of Sickle Cell Disease that vary in severity. Some Forms of Sickle Cell Disease are: Hemoglobin SS Hemoglobin SC Hemoglobin Sβ0 thalassemia Hemoglobin Sβ+ thalassemia Hemoglobin SD Hemoglobin SE