Sept. is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month
September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. It also creates abnormally shaped cells that can block blood flow.
Halima Heyward, 40, of the Bronx, was born with sickle cell disease and has been in and out of hospitals for most of her life. Both of her kidneys have failed and she's now developed a limp because of worn down hip joints.
"I really didn't think I'd make it through that," she said. "I really thought that was going to be it for me."
She says care from her former doctor helped her survive even the toughest of times.
Heyward, and her former doctor say getting a genetic blood test is crucial before having kids. They hope to spread their message and raise awareness throughout the borough this month.