FLORISSANT, MO ( KPLR)- By just looking at him, you can't tell anything is wrong with 6 -year-old Clayton Williams from Florissant .He looks like a normal kid who loves playing. But what you can't see is he has bone marrow failure due to sickle cell anemia. His parents found out after a routine check-up just weeks after Clayton was born.
The young boy is learning to deal with the pain, the horrible cramps and aches as a result of suffering from sickle cell an. Sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease . The disease is a serious disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent. Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center. They move easily through your blood vessels. Red blood cells contain an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin. This protein carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Sickle cells contain abnormal hemoglobin called sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. Sickle hemoglobin causes the cells to develop a sickle, or crescent, shape.
Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease usually begin in early childhood. Characteristic features of this disorder include a low number of red blood cells (anemia), repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, while others are frequently hospitalized for more serious complications.
Clayton is hospitalized at least once per month. The young boy was prescribed Hydroxurea which is a compound chemotherapy drug, which aides in reducing his pain levels as well as his need for hospitalization.
In 2011, the pain became more severe and frequent. The Hydroxurea was less effective and Clayton had multiple blood transfusions almost every hospital admission. The blood transfusions were required to increase his hemoglobin levels which in turn would offset his pain. However, in March 2012, doctors advised that the disease had affected Clayton’s back and spine and that he would need a bone marrow transplant. Clayton currently wears a back brace to protect his back and shield his spine. Without a bone marrow transplant, doctors predict that he will have further organ damage however; a successful transplant would cure him of Sickle Cell Disease
The family encourage friends, and the community to join the Marrow Registry. Minority donors are urgently needed. You may be the one to save a life!
Marrow Registry Drive
Jana Elementary School
405 Jana Drive
Florissant, MO 63031
Location: School Cafeteria
Thursday, August 9, 2012
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Contact Be The Match Registry: 314-348-5650