XENIA — September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The disease is the most common inherited blood disease in the United States and overwhelming affects the Black community and people of color. Two young siblings in Xenia are both fighting the disease and their mother discusses how it will likely impact them for the rest of their lives.
Dominic and Saretta Jones both have had a steady uphill battle during their young lives. Their mother, Lauren, said Dominic was in the NICU for two months after being born premature.
“We found out he had Sickle Cell probably two weeks after he came out of the NICU,” Jones said.
At just 10 years old, Dominic has had about 14 blood transfusions.
Jones said finding out Saretta, 6, had the disease was devestating.
“Exactly what I was praying and hoping wouldn’t happen, happened,” Jones said.
Saretta has had 15 blood transfusions in six years.
Both children will likely require blood transfusions for the rest of their lives.
Their mother told News Center 7′s Candace Price that she wished she had known ahead of time that she and her partner had the Sickle Cell trait, so she could be prepared for what her children would possibly have to go through.
“You need to know your genotype because we all have one. You carry the trait and you decide to have children with someone else who carries the trait, you have a very high chance of having Sickle Cell,” Jones said.
Jones wants others to know the importance of genetic testing for diseases such as Sickle Cell. She advises to not wait and to educate yourself about the diseases you carry traits for.
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