The Quest to Ease the Pain of Sickle Cell Disease

Cheryl Stucky lab

High school senior Andreau Dorsey has endured complications from her sickle cell anemia since birth, but it was in middle school that the regular pain hit. The sickle cell-related pain most often strikes her knee, at least weekly – and sometimes daily. “It’s a sharp, throbbing pain,” says Dorsey, 18. “It fluctuates and is highly affected by how I move, so I’ve tried to do things that make it hurt less. I’ve always had to be conscious of not overworking myself and doing as much as other kids. I used to take pain medication a lot, but I don’t want to be popping pills all the time, so I will immediately resort to putting heat on it and rest, and only take medicine if that doesn’t work.”

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