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Sickle cell warrior: Rhiannon’s story

Rhiannon’s journey to cure her sickle cell disease started when she was around 10 years old. Doctors told her that to improve her overall health and long-term quality of life, she would need a bone marrow transplant.  

In the days leading up to the transplant, Rhiannon remembers having to take a lot of medication. All the evaluations and check-ups were worth it to have a new lease on life. It’s been six years since her transplant and she still reflects on all the relationships she built along the way. She is thankful for the support team of nurses, doctors, friends and family that made the journey easier. 

Years of battling sickle cell caused her bones to deteriorate, so she had a double hip replacement after her bone marrow transplant. Rhiannon is happy that now she can do things that she was once restricted, like swimming. It’s like she was unlocking a whole new world where she can be active without experiencing pain and get excited about going to college without having to worry about her health.  

One piece of advice Rhiannon gives to other warriors to not be afraid to ask questions. Being curious about your treatment is normal. Getting a full understanding of the procedures and process is helpful and eases the anxiety. 

Watch Rhiannon’s story