Skip to main content

June 19th is Sickle Cell Awareness Day!

On Friday, June 19th,  patients, families, and staff at Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago celebrated Sickle Cell Awareness Day. It’s an important celebration for the patients at the hospital treated for Sickle Cell each year, like Olivia.

When she was just a week old, Olivia was diagnosed with sickle cell disease, a group of inherited red blood cell disorders that can cause episodes of pain, delayed growth, fatigue and swelling in hands in feet. Olivia came to Lurie Children’s during her first pain crisis as a six-month-old baby. Right away, she began receiving regular blood transfusions to keep her stable. “When we walk into Lurie Children’s, there’s hope,” Danielle says. Olivia loves coming to the hospital, and has been inspired to give back to kids like her.

For her sixth birthday, she threw a party for kids with sickle cell with the support of her village and mayor, now an annual event in its third year that results in over 100 units of donated blood each year. “I want people to know that everyone is special and it’s hard but we can go through it,” she says. “Everything is not easy but it can be.”

The Lurie Children’s  Sickle Cell Disease Program is a nationally recognized center of excellence that provides comprehensive sickle cell disease care to manage the disease and prevent its complications. The hospital works to improve the health and well-being of patients affected by sickle cell disease within a kid-friendly, family-focused environment. Specialists are trained to treat children with sickle cell disease, meet their specific needs and counsel all family members on preventive treatment measures and serious complications.

Outside of the infusion center and in the lab, Lurie Children’s researchers spearhead and participate in multiple sickle cell research studies across research institutions, to try and find better treatments and cures for kids like Olivia.

Wear burgundy in honor of Olivia and the many other Sickle Cell patients who rely on the hospital every day for quality care!