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  1. Sickle Cell Summer Reading List

    July 27, 2015 by Andrea
    Man reading newspaper

    Photo: Kaboompics.com



    This summer is flying by and with all of the busyness and vacation fun, you've barely had a chance to keep up with what the sickle cell community has been talking about. We've got your back with a round up of 3 hot sickle cell topics in the news for July:

    1) Swimming With SCD
    We all know the dangers associated with extreme temperature changes and sickle cell disease, and one of the main issues with summertime for warriors is swimming. To remedy this, London-based mom Shantel Brand is working toward developing swimming classes that can take place in a heated, hydrotherapy pool. Read more at the Sickle Cell Society.

    2) There's An App For That
    Besides the VOICES Crisis Alert App, which was designed especially for people with sickle cell, more health apps have begun hitting the market. Here's a list of 5 that were highlighted by Johns Hopkins -- those with SCD may especially be interested in The I.V. Doc, an app that allows you to request on-demand hydration therapy. Read more at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

    3) Sickle Cell At The Movies
    Since it's release back in June, the movie "Ted 2" has come under fire from many sickle cell warriors. At the same time, many others living with SCD haven't taken offense and see it as just another way to bring light to the disease. Another film, Lia, which follows the struggles of a UK teen trying to balance her disease with living a normal life, began screening in London this month. Read more at Eclectica Films Productions

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  2. Here’s How One Man Uses His Voice to Give Hope to Others with Sickle Cell

    July 20, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: Chris Leger/speak2myfuture.me

    Photo: Chris Leger/speak2myfuture.me



    It all started because Chris Leger needed an outlet to escape the shame and the pain he felt from being a sickle cell warrior. "Sickle cell anemia basically crippled my existence until I made up my mind that I would run better, I would fight better, and I would be better," Chris wrote on his blog. Part of that process was to write. He explains that, for him, writing -- anything from poetry to rap lyrics to plays -- helped him overcome bouts of depression and helped take his mind off of his disease.

    The culmination of all of that writing has recently been published as an album called "Sick-O-Cell," which you can download from iTunes. According to Chris, "This album is me not giving up; this is me continuing to run. This album is how I can provide hope to the world."

    Read all about Chris's journey and inspiration to raise awareness through his music here. Then, download "Sick-O-Cell" and check out what he has to say.

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  3. A New Short Film About Sickle Cell Has Begun Screenings in London

    July 13, 2015 by Andrea
    Movie poster art: Duane Valentino

    Movie poster art: Duane Valentino



    When writer/director Ethosheia Hylton started doing her own research on sickle cell, she realized just how important raising awareness for this disease is -- especially in the Black community. Her research ultimately led to the inspiration for her newest short film, "Lia," which follows a South London teenager as she tries to cope with her SCD and live life as a typical teen.

    According to Hylton, "Lia is a 15-year-old girl living with the sickle cell disease, who craves nothing more than to be a normal teenager like her friends and everyone else. Her strict mother Jackie doesn’t let her do anything or go anywhere and Lia has had enough. One day she decides to do what she wants for a change, disobeying her mum and staying out late with her friends in the hope of seeing her secret crush Ryan. However, the day turns sour when Lia suffers a sickle cell crisis and is left to deal with the after effect of her choices." 

    Watch the trailer below and learn more about the movie by clicking here and following Hylton and Lia on Twitter.

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  4. 3 Ways to Prevent a Sickle Cell Crisis in the Summer

    July 6, 2015 by Andrea
     Photo by Staffage via: kaboompics.com

    Photo by Staffage via: kaboompics.com



    Those colder months are but a memory now that summer has finally arrived. But, that doesn't mean that sickle cell warriors are out of the woods when it comes to the chance of a weather-related crisis popping up. Check out our tips for staying healthy with sickle cell during the warmer months, so that you and your family can enjoy less worry and an abundance of fun!

    1. Get Lots of Fluids.
    Water. Gatorade. Smoothies. Whatever your child -- or you -- enjoy drinking the most that's non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic. Of course, water is the absolute best. To make plain ol' water more fun, try infusing a pitcher of the stuff with fresh fruits. Why stay away from the caffeinated and/or alcoholic drinks? Beverages such as sodas, coffee, and wine also act as diuretics and can cause you to lose more fluids than you're taking in. According to the dailyburn.com, you can also eat your fluids! Soup, yogurt, watermelon, celery, cucumbers, strawberries, and lettuces are also great sources of hydration.

    2. Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes.
    You'll probably be doing a lot of swimming this summer, but before jumping into the pool, make sure you (or your little sickle cell warrior) rinses off with lukewarm water, so that your body slowly adjusts to the temperature change. Also be sure to wipe off any excess sweat and sit under some shade before running into an air conditioned place after being outside in the heat, as UW Health suggests.

    3. Choose Your Adventure -- Wisely.
    Vacationing with sickle cell doesn't have to be an anxiety-inducing thing, but you should definitely do some research on where you're going and what activities you plan to do while there, so you can be prepared. For example, if you plan to go hiking above 7,000 feet, you may need to bring along some oxygen with you. Even if you're not planning to hike above more than a couple thousand feet, you'll still need to plan rest periods, so that you don't over exert yourself and send your body into crisis.

    Have any other tips for preventing a sickle cell crisis during the warmer months? Leave them in the comments below!


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