Why I support the fight against sickle-cell anemia

Vada Voices

Lendale Johnson

I first learned about this disease as a teenager, after my mother told me about how my distant little cousin had the disease and sadly passed away in a tragic house fire. This was the first thought that came to my mind after I was asked to be a special guest at the 3rd Annual Designing for Sickle-Cell Anemia Youth Fashion Show in the USA.

If feels great to be able to help such a fantastic cause and do it through fashion! Additionally, I’ll be signing autographs and taking photos with everyone during the meet and greet.

Sickle-cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with sickle-cell disease have red blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. Sometimes these red blood cells become sickle-shaped (crescent shaped) and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels.

When sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels, less blood can reach that part of the body. Tissue that does not receive a normal blood flow eventually becomes damaged. This is what causes the complications of sickle cell disease. There is currently no universal cure for sickle cell disease.

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Later this year the children diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia at the UIC Hospital will get a warm welcoming visit from me & all others from the fashion show.

I wholeheartedly support the fight against sickle-cell anemia for these very reasons and can only hope more people become aware of the disease so that together we can ultimately find a cure.

You can book tickets for the event online.

Lendale Johnson is on Twitter @iamlennyjohnson.

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