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Here’s the problem (and why you should care):
Our goal this year is to reduce the frequency and severity of crises in at least 100 children by over 90%.
This is a drop in the bucket, admittedly, but it could conceivably help in a few ways:
So, how we address Sickle Cell Disease???
The Building Strength Approach is a term I coined over a decade ago in an attempt to express what I believed was an under-appreciated fact: that the human body has remarkable, and for the most part, untapped ability to heal, repair and correct itself, if given the right resources. This approach, then focuses on identifying and supplying the resources the body requires (and thus strengthening it) to do what it does best.
The “Root of All Evil”:
Let’s apply this philosophy specifically to SCD. The trouble begins when, under certain conditions (eg, extremes of temperature, dehydration, fatigue, stress, etc), normal red blood cells (rbcs for short) lose their elasticity and shape and become “sickle” shaped.
This results in one or two things:
This may be an over-simplification, and I certainly would not argue with that, but those two events eventually lead to most, if not all the problems we see in SCD.
“The Four Horsemen:”
So then, the obvious focus should be on 1. Stopping that transformation (from normal to “sickled” cell), and 2. Repairing the damage already done.
And there are four main areas we focus on strengthening (or improving), all of which are implicated in SCD: