A Banner Publication
September 3, 2009 – Vol. 4 • No. 1

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Making sense of genetic disorder

Amiel Reid played the cello at an event to honor Massachusetts first lady Diane Patrick. The event was sponsored by the Boston & Vicinity Club and the League of Women for Community Service.
As far as Lynnie Reid knew, her newborn girl was as healthy as could be. All of that changed about eight months later. Instead of bounce, there was lethargy, and no one could figure out the reason. When the doctors finally did, Reid was even more mystified.

“Hemoglobin” is not exactly the word any young mother wants to talk about in connection with her child’s health. But the ill-sounding word is actually a good thing. In addition to giving blood its color, the iron-rich protein is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Like a lot of people, Reid had never heard of hemoglobin. But there she was — all of 20 years old at the time — hearing that she had “rare and defective” hemoglobin. Making matters worse was that her husband’s hemoglobin was equally defective — and together, they passed the genes to their first-born child. Full story


Early awareness key to managing symptoms

Myiesha Demery has come a long way. Born in the Virgin Islands, she moved to Boston when she was 5 years old in part because of her medical condition.

She was diagnosed with sickle cell disease — both her parents carried the trait — but doctors in St. Thomas could offer little in the way of treatments. She was told to simply eat foods that were thought to boost the oxygen in her blood.

Quite naturally, her condition worsened and the painful flare-ups occurred as often as three times a week.

“It can be sudden,” she said. “It can start in one spot and quickly spread to every joint in my body within 30 seconds.” Full story

OTHER STORIES:

Sickle cell disease: The fight for survival starts early
click here


September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

A closer look

Normal red blood cells are round and flexible and flow easily through the blood vessels, carrying much-needed oxygen, a major source of the body’s energy. Full story


Resources for families and children click here

Symptoms and complications click here

Questions & Answers click here

Surviving sickle cell disease click here

What are the odds? click here

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