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spotlight

5 Myths and Facts About Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

1. PAIN
MYTH: All individuals with SCD are drug addicts.
FACT: The hallmark of SCD is severe unpredictable pain sometimes requiring high doses of narcotics.

2. LIFESPAN
MYTH: Individuals with SCD don't live past the age of 21.
FACT: The vast majority of individuals live well into adulthood.

3. TRAIT
MYTH: Sickle cell trait is a mild form of sickle cell disease.
FACT: Sickle cell trait is not a disease; it is generally an asymptomatic carrier state.

- If both parents have sickle cell trait, there is a 1 in 4 chance of having a baby with SCD.

- 1 out of 13 African Americans has sickle cell trait and many don't know that they have it.

4. RACE
MYTH: SCD only affects black people.
FACT: SCD is seen in people of many races.

5. CURE
MYTH: Bone marrow (stem cell) transplant is a universal cure.
FACT: Not all individuals with SCD are eligible for stem cell transplant. There are associated risks. To learn more about the NIH Cure Sickle Cell Initiative, visit www.curesickle.org.

Sep 1, 2019
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clinical trials and research

In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder

For the first time, doctors in the U.S. have used the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR to try to treat a patient with a genetic disorder.

"It is just amazing how far things have come," says Victoria Gray, 34, of Forest, Miss. "It is wonderful," she told NPR in an exclusive interview after undergoing the landmark treatment for sickle cell disease.

Gray is the first patient ever to be publicly identified as being involved in a study testing the use of CRISPR for a genetic disease.

Jul 29, 2019