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I Have Sickle Cell Disease, But Sickle Cell Doesn’t Have Me

Tiffany McCoy has struggled with the effects of sickle cell disease. But today, thanks to advances in treatment, she lives a full and active life. Recently, she talked about sickle cell disease in a video created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

On living with sickle cell disease:

I’ve lived with sickle cell my whole life. I’ve never known anything else. I have the most severe form of sickle cell disease.
The doctors told my parents that I probably wouldn’t live to see my 18th birthday. Sickle cell was like a death sentence. But now, it’s totally the opposite. I mean, people can live effective, prosperous, healthy lives. We’ve come a long way. Since I was a child, my parents have always told me,”You can be whatever you want to be. You can do whatever you want to do.” But after I had my daughter, I was really, really sick. I had a lot of hospital admissions–more than normal, more than I’ve ever had.