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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.
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.
Lendale Johnson is on Twitter @iamlennyjohnson.