Today’s Faces of Sickle Cell Disease

Honoring Today's Faces of Sickle Cell Disease. The future of sickle cell disease research is now. Learn about the people behind the progress.

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Throughout the month, the NHLBI will share real stories of strength and perseverance. The stories will highlight people living with sickle cell disease, their loved ones, clinicians, and the researchers whose work offers hope for a cure. Read their stories below.

photo of Umut Gurkan, Ph.D.
Sickle cell researcher, technology developer, and professor at Case Western Reserve University His story: Umut Gurkan, Ph.D., a biomedical engineering professor...
Photo of Chad Williams
Music producer, entrepreneur, study volunteer His story: Doctors diagnosed Chad Williams with sickle cell disease at age 3, and the memories of the grueling...
Photo of Elodie Ontala Babongui
Blood donation and patient advocate, sickle cell survivor Her story: When she was 3 years old and still living in Central Africa, in Gabon, doctors diagnosed...
Headshot of Clevetta Drew
Clevetta Drew, NIH gene therapy trial participant Her story: Clevetta Drew, age 41, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at 18 months old and throughout her...
Headshot of Wunmi Bakare
Director of WBPR Agency, and stem cell transplant patient Her story: Wunmi Bakare was 18 months old when her pediatrician, Dorothy Esangbedo, M.D., diagnosed...
photo of Lakiea Bailey
Patient, director of the Sickle Cell Community Consortium, research scientist Her story: At age 5, Lakiea Bailey experienced the first sickle cell crisis that...
Headshott of Natalie Jean-Baptiste
Lawyer, sickle cell patient, COVID-19 survivor Her story: Natalie Jean-Baptiste, 42, has lived with sickle cell disease her entire life and has forged a...
Traci Mondoro headshot
Blood researcher, branch chief, Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Her Story: Traci Mondoro, Ph.D., serves as...
Headshot of Shirlianna wearing a black shirt, smiling at camera
Imagine having sharp, tingling pain running throughout the tiny blood vessels in your bones. What if you couldn’t stop it? What if prescriptions, such as...
Picture of Rodrick Murray wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket
Research pioneer, patient advocate, broadcast professional His story: Rodrick Murray was 3 months old when he was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD). This...
Picture of Sickle Cell advocate Mercy Mendoza
Read English Version Representante de pacientes, voluntaria para la Asociación de Células Falciformes de Texas de la Fundación Marc Thomas Su historia: Mercy...