Tola Oriade | oneSCDvoice
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Tola Oriade

As a young girl, Tola Oriade often felt hemmed off from a normal life. “I was kind of weak, and couldn’t do a lot of things that my friends were doing—like going to the beach, playing soccer, going for a swim,” she says. Diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) at birth, Tola couldn’t risk getting too hot or too cold, getting injured—or getting sick. Activities that were innocuous for most kids might trigger a life-threatening complication.

What began as a grave event for Tola at the age of seven—a serious case of pneumonia—ultimately led to a transformative cure. One year after her pneumonia, on May 13, 2005, Tola had a bone marrow transplant at Seattle Children’s. For people like Tola who live with sickle cell disease, a successful transplant is a complete cure. After eight years of living with SCD, she says, “I felt like a normal person.”