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UPMC Adult Sickle Cell Disease Program Patient Stories

Julian Cann: Sickle Cell Disease

Julian Cann

Julian Cann spent much of his childhood in and out of the hospital. Now a young man, this up-and-coming rapper writes music to relieve stress, deal with pain, and spread the word about sickle cell disease.

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Kyriako Damavoletes: Sickle Cell Disease

Kyriako Damavoletes

Kyriako Damavoletes knew he was different by about age 4 or 5. But it wasn’t until middle school that he truly understood the impact has HbS beta thalassemia — an inherited blood disorder — would have on his life.

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Richard Fletcher: Sickle Cell Disease

Richard Fletcher

Richard Fletcher has dealt with complications of sickle cell disease all his life. But some of his worst pain came from losing his sister to the disease. Practicing martial arts helps him find peace and cope with the pain associated with sickle cell disease.

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Darryl Watkins: Sickle Cell Disease

Darryl Watkins

Darryl Watkins has the HbSS variant of sickle cell disease. Despite losing his sister to sickle cell disease when he was a child, this inspiring man stays positive and hopes to raise awareness about this devastating blood disorder.

Read Darryl Watkins's story