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Sickle cell warrior: Christina’s story

Smart, independent, warrior—all of these describe Christina. Diagnosed with sickle cell disease at a young age, Christina began to research to learn more about the disease and the possible routes for treatment. Her family migrated from Haiti, so she had to close the language barrier between her parents and doctors through learning as much as she could about sickle cell disease and passing that knowledge on to her parents. When researching, she learned about bone marrow transplants and how it could be a potential cure for sickle cell.  

Christina’s journey to a cure was not an easy one. At the age of eight, she suffered a stroke and as a result was paralyzed from the waist down for three months. She had to go through physical therapy and she also had hearing loss. She suffered vascular necrosis which damaged her joints making a hip replacement necessary. She also had to deal with retinopathy, which caused her retina to detach. Suffering all of these complications throughout her life made Christina more determined to find a cure.    

When she discovered Be The Match®, hope was renewed that she would someday find a match—and ultimately, a cure. While working as a nurse, she began to experience more symptoms of sickle cell disease. Her coworkers noticed she was calling out of work more frequently, so they suggested she talk to the doctors and look into having her transplant at Emory University Hospital, where she worked. Christina had her bone marrow transplant in 2020 and since then she has been able to do more of what she loves.  

Watch Christina’s story