Malika Abrams, a young woman with sickle cell anemia and avascular necrosis (AVN), gives advice to physicians with sickle cell anemia patients.

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder. Early symptoms usually occur in childhood and include swelling, fatigue, and jaundice. As the disease progresses, there is an increased risk of infections, delayed growth, and periodic episodes of pain (sickle attacks). Over time, organ damage can occur, creating problems in the spleen, brain, eyes, lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, penis, joints, bones, and/or skin. 

As Ms. Abrams explains, there is a stigma that sickle cell anemia patients exaggerate the pain they feel. She urges doctors to take the concerns of their patients with sickle cell anemia seriously.

To learn more about sickle cell anemia and other rare hematologic conditions, visit Also, visit here to go to Ms. Abrams’ YouTube channel where she talks more about sickle cell and AVN.