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SICKLE Cell Anaemia is an inherited blood disorder affecting the red blood cells which contain a special protein called haemoglobin. Haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and in people with the disorder it is called sickle haemoglobin instead of normal haemoglobin.

Sickled cells stick together and link into long fibres, which means they cannot get through small blood vessels as easily as healthy cells.

This can stop oxygen getting through, and cause damage to organs, or, in some cases, strokes.

Imani and Ashant have suffered with sickle cell since birth. Hazel says it can cause chronic pain in the limbs for the girls - who are not allowed to get overexerted as this can trigger their anaemia.

Sickle Cell Anaemia is named after the distinctive shaped formed by the red blood cells of people with the disorder which mainly affects Afro-Caribbean and Asian people.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 9, 2003
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