Stem Cell Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia: Is It ONLY for Rich People?

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Need to get your inspiration fix for sickle cell anemia (SCA)? Look no further!

A short and simple video is a click away a la the National Institutes of Health NIH, where a young woman shares highlights of her story of living with SCA.

Diagnosed in infancy, this young woman had spent many years in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals because there weren’t effective treatments to halt or slow this serious genetic disease down. When she had a flare, she was at the mercy of doctors for immediate care—assuming they were informed physicians.

While the video is very short, she hints at the pain and fatigue that SCA causes because instead of having normal round blood cells that flow easily throughout the body, people who have sickle cell anemia suffer pain because their red blood cells are mutated, shaped in the form of a sickle (hence the name of the disease) and cannot pass through the body properly; blood flow slows down or stops, which can be life-threatening.

So why did NIH go to the trouble of posting a video of her?

Well she’s a success story in her own right! Just so happened she was talking to a friend who knew another friend, etc. who’d had joined a clinical trial with the NIH. Doctors and scientists at the NIH were studying the effects of stem cell transplants on people with SCA and were increasingly pleased with the outcomes. Even the “C” word – “cure” – was mentioned!

While she doesn’t discuss any side effects that she experienced or risks involved with the trial, it does appear that she’s had exceptional results! This is fantastic news.

I just wonder…how much does stem cell therapy cost?!

I don’t know about you, but I believe that medical care is a RIGHT of all American citizens. I’d rather live with fewer “things” in my life in return for excellent medical care. Call me a socialist of sorts, but just tax me—tax the rich (not me)—tax everyone except the poor and let’s get free, excellent medical care and let’s put an end to SCA.

Whatcha think? Since not everyone qualifies to join a clinical trial for SCA – and then, once the stem cell therapy IS finally approved, most people cannot afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the treatment, what are patients supposed to do?! Even with the Affordable Care Act, it’s going to be outrageously expensive.


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