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Sickle Cell in Primetime: How A Character Reveal on Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Renewed My Hope

It could be impossible to know when Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), prior to this fall, was last mentioned on primetime television and wasn’t used as an insult or the butt of a joke. Just last month Keke Palmer’s character mentioned it on “Scream Queens” when asked to think of a noble cause to attach to her Zayday-for-president-party. They even let her have enough screen time to drop a tagline, emphasizing just how horrific the genetic disorder is. Sickle Cell’s moment was ultimately overshadowed by the jokes and quest to find a more horrific illness to attach to the party of Zayday’s rival.

Nonetheless, Sickle Cell had its moment. What’s important here is that SCD was name-dropped four times by a main character. However briefly, it was part of her story.


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