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Living With Sickle Cell Disease Is a Constant Battle With Pain, According to one Woman Who Has It

“You don’t look sick.”

That’s something I hear all the time. It’s hard to get people to understand that I don’t look like what I’m going through.

I have sickle cell disease, a complex genetic blood disorder that affects the shape of red blood cells. People with sickle cell disease inherit an abnormal hemoglobin gene that prevents the proper delivery of oxygen to the body’s organs, which is why the form of the disease I have is also referred to as sickle cell anemia. The disease is characterized by unpredictable, severe, and painful events known as “sickle-cell pain crises.”

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