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Students With Sickle Cell Disease Stay on Track With Help From St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Brandon Gardner graduated Friday on schedule with his class from Trinity Catholic High School in north St. Louis County.

The rite of passage wasn’t always a certainty for Gardner, 18, who was born with sickle cell disease and has endured various complications including infections and chronic pain throughout childhood. In March of his junior year, Gardner fell in class and was later diagnosed with a stroke. He spent more than a month in the hospital and about six weeks out of school.

Sickle cell disease makes red blood cells hard and sticky and difficult to pass through blood vessels. The resulting lack of oxygen in the blood can lead to anemia, debilitating pain and in severe cases, strokes. For schoolchildren, the symptoms add up to a lot of absences.



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