New York Jets running back Tevin Coleman didn’t know that he carried sickle-cell disease until he was in college. That’s when the rigorous training required for his professional football career brought his medical condition to the forefront.
Carriers to sickle-cell disease have what’s called sickle-cell trait, which occurs when a person inherits one sickle-cell disease gene and one healthy gene.
In most cases, people with the trait don’t notice symptoms, but athletes with the trait like Coleman may have an increased risk for heatstroke and muscle breakdown after intense exercise, according to the CDC. Coleman needed to emphasize hydration and rest to continue his career.