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Today’s Faces of Sickle Cell Disease: Cassandra Trimnell

Cassandra Trimnell is a patient advocate, Executive Director of the Sickle Cell 101. When Cassandra Trimnell was born in 1987, she was the first child diagnosed with sickle cell disease through Iowa’s newly implemented newborn screening program. “My mom, like most others, didn’t know she had the sickle cell trait until her beautiful baby was born with this ugly disease,” said Trimnell. But because of this newfound awareness, Trimnell was able to get the attention and care she needed, and she grew up to become a fierce advocate for others with the condition.

Trimnell founded and is the executive director of Sickle Cell 101, a non-profit organization that specializes in sickle cell education, primarily through social media. She is convinced that a lack of knowledge about the disease—not only among the population at large, but among the medical establishment and patients themselves — has led to a disturbing silence about the disease. “I want people to realize the importance of knowing their trait status,” said Trimnell.