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  1. “The Dope Science Show” Talks Xickle for Sickle Cell Awareness Month

    September 25, 2017 by Andrea
    Dope Science Show

    Photo: CreateHer Stock



    A few months ago, Dr. Eric Coles -- co-owner of Xickle RBC-Plus -- sat down with Stephany of "The Dope Science Show" to discuss sickle cell disease, how natural ingredients can be used to lessen SCD crises, and what advice he'd give to aspiring scientists, among other things. And just in time for Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Dr. Coles's episode has dropped.

    Currently, Dr. Coles is working with his business partner Dr. Robert Swift developing a new drug for the treatment of sickle cell. SCD-101, as it's called, is the drug formulation of the current supplement (Xickle RBC-Plus) and has completed Phase l clinical trials, published those results (Click to read the article in the Journal Blood) and is currently in Phase ll clinical trials right now. The science of this development isn't all that new, though; it's actually based on Niprisan/Nicosan -- the drug used to treat sickle cell in Nigeria that, unfortunately, is no longer on the market.

    "That's kinda the sad part of the story," Dr. Coles says. Apparently, back in 2003, the Nigerian version of the FDA approved the drug in Nigeria and licensed Niprisan to a U.S.-based pharmaceutical development company for the purpose of producing the drug as an FDA-approved one. But, before the U.S. company could develop anything, it went bankrupt. Around the same time, in Nigeria, the bank foreclosed on the facilities that produced Niprisan. All those with sickle cell that were taking Niprisan could not longer get their treatment. 

    Soon after, Dr. Swift, decided to take on the development of Niprisan himself. He did so alone from 2009 to 2011, when Dr. Coles joined him. Together, they have improved the formulation with more anti-sickling activity and have commenced clinical trials. So far the results have been excellent.

    Listen to the entire podcast below to learn even more:

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  2. T-Boz Releases New Memoir Just in Time for Sickle Cell Awareness Month

    September 19, 2017 by Andrea

    a sick life book cover

    "A Sick Life: TLC 'n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage", the new memoir from Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, was released on September 12 -- appropriately, right in the heart of Sickle Cell Awareness Month. More than a year in the making, this book details T-Boz's experiences of coping with sickle cell, while simultaneously making a living as a member of the highest-selling girl group.

    In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, T-Boz revealed the significance of her memoir's title. "It's a strong word, 'a sick life,' 'cause I've had it all," she said. "I was told I would never live past 30; I would be disabled my whole life and never have kids." Obviously, she beat every odd stacked against her and then some: She's now 47 years old, she birthed a child at age 30, and she managed a hectic schedule and traveled the world as a member of TLC. Surmounting those obstacles didn't come without setbacks, however.

    According to People magazine, which landed the rights to publish excerpts of the memoir in their latest issue, T-Boz told them that after giving birth to her daughter Chase, her body began to shut down and she was in a coma for three days. “Often, it’s hard to breathe or walk,” the magazine reports T-Boz wrote in her memoir. “Some days I wake up consumed by pain. It’s like knives stabbing me over and over again in my joints. Chase gave me a reason to keep pushing through.”

    "A Sick Life" is on sale now, and you can even get a signed copy of the book by clicking here.

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  3. “Motown 25” and Its Contribution to Sickle Cell Awareness

    September 11, 2017 by Andrea
    motown 25

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    Here's a sickle cell awareness fact you may not have known: "Motown 25" -- that epic night back in 1983 of A-list performances from Michael Jackson, the Temptations, The Supremes, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, and more -- was not only a celebration of the label's quarter century of success, but also a fundraising event for sickle cell. SCD was close to the Motown family, as one of their own (Temptations member Paul Williams) battled the disease, along with depression, and unfortunately, ended his own life just ten years prior.

    One man, Michael Soyannwo, and his team are bringing this little-known fact to life in a new documentary called "The Night Motown Sang for Sickle Cell Anaemia," due to drop next Black History Month. According to Soyannwo, most people don't realize Motown 25 was a benefit concert for sickle cell because "the agenda changed the minute Michael Jackson did the Moonwalk." After that, that's all anyone could talk about and the issue of SCD got lost once again.  

    The doc, being filmed by the UK-based company Rockindale Productions, includes interviews with entertainment insiders, sickle cell experts, and journalists and tackles the unfortunate truth that "conditions that are suffered by people of color, always, always, are way, way down [on the list of importance]," says journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in one clip. 

    Watch the full trailer below:

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  4. Teen Sickle Cell Warrior Saves the Life of Herself and Her Family with Quick Thinking — and an iPhone

    September 6, 2017 by Andrea
    Screenshot

    Screenshot



    Hurricane Harvey battered Texas, especially the Houston area, for six straight days, raining down trillions of gallons of water, killing at least 50, and leaving thousands in need of rescuing -- including a 14-year-old girl having a full-blown sickle cell crisis.

    According to an article published by CNN, sickle cell warrior Tyler Frank and her family awoke on the morning of August 27 to a severely flooded home. The water continued to rise so much so that it almost covered Tyler's head. The family fled the house, but had no way of going far, so they found themselves stranded outside in the storm, exposed to conditions that are ripe for setting off a crisis.

    After cries for help on social media and to 911 failed, Tyler had the idea to ask Siri for help -- yes, that Siri. By this time, Tyler had a fever of 103 and was experiencing increasing pain. Her idea worked, though. Siri called the Coast Guard, and on their second rescue attempt, she and her family were lifted away from the scene via helicopter.

    "It's so impressive what she and her family dealt with," Tyler's hematologist Dr. Titilope Fasipe told CNN. "I dont' think most of us can even imagine."

    Tyler was treated at the hospital and discharged last Friday to a local motel, where she and her family will stay until they can figure out their next move, post-Harvey.

    For the full story, click here.

    To donate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, click here.

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