6 years old
sickle cell disease
When Donovan was born, his family learned he suffered from sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that causes red blood cells to become hard and sickle-shaped, instead of soft and round. Children and adults with the disease may experience symptoms that range from severe pain to strokes, pneumonia and organ damage.
Donovan was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, where his treatment included penicillin twice daily to combat infection. During these visits, doctors monitored his development and did blood work. “We’re grateful because Donovan’s sickle cell disease is very mild,” said his mother. “Sickle cell disease can be incredibly painful, but St. Jude helps keep the pain at bay.”
When Donovan turned 5 years old, he was able to stop taking daily penicillin. He now visits St. Jude just twice a year. Donovan is a happy boy who likes to put together puzzles.