Hello, it’s me Dejah again. For my last YATW project I focused on Sickle Cell anemia. Instead of looking for my research online I went out and did my own research. I interviewed people educated in the topic, people with the disease, and people with small associations that have to do with the disease. In my last blog post I talked about how the disease is passed and different types of symptoms for this disease. Also, what medications people use to help with the pains they have and what medications doctors are trying to come up with to cure the disease.
I interviewed Dr.Gary Emmett, a Pediatrician at Thomas Jefferson Family Med. He informed me on a lot of things. Sickle Cell Anemia is passed down through gene; If you inherit the Sickle cell trait from one parent you have the Sickle Cell Anemia trait but, if you get the gene from both parents you have the disease. People with the disease are diagnosed a few weeks after they are born. There major symptoms that comes with this disease. They are called “Crises.” These crises happen when someone with the disease is dehydrated and or has a high fever from being sick, People have really bad pains in their bones, and chest. Also, they can get very tired. The worst can even happen, the pains can get so bad that people can die suddenly from bad blood circulation. The life span for a person diagnosed with this disease have gotten longer over years. Before, the life span was the late teens. Now it is twice as longer. Therefore, people diagnosed can live up to about 40.
There are medications that are trying to found to cure this disease. Right now no drugs have been released. Painkillers are the only that can help with the pains. There is one drug that seems to be the best for this disease; It is called hydroxyurea. It will be available to people soon.
There are many supporters for sickle cell anemia. I had the opportunity to talk to someone from Sickle Cell Association of America. This association serves the sickle cell community. A group of patients in 1982 that had sickle cell disease came as a support group, this is what started this association.They were patients at the Pennsylvania hospital during this time. One major fundraiser is a walkathon. It is in it’s 17th year, headed by Mr.Brandon during sickle cell awareness month in September. This event is always the last Saturday of the month, landing on the 27th this month. There is a lot of activities and also inform people about this disease. Even though it is not a big company; Only having 5 people on their staff, they have partnerships with St.Christopher's, Chop, and Thomas Jefferson hospital.
For my agent of change I will be raising money for sickle cell anemia. I will be having bake sale for a week and then send the money to a foundation. Also, I will be gathering a group of kids that go to SLA and see if they want to volunteer at the event in September.