St. Jude patient Ari'Yanna, sickle cell disease

Side by side

Ari'Yanna is an energetic little girl who's navigating the painful journey of sickle cell disease with the support of St. Jude.


Ari’Yanna loves Paw Patrol®, and she loves to dance. She has a great sense of humor and can be quite bossy — she likes things to go her way.

Her mom, D’Yana wants Ari’Yanna to be happy and healthy, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is her partner in that mission. Ari’Yanna has sickle cell disease, a red blood cell disorder.

Patient Ari'Yanna with her mom, D'Yana

Patient Ari'Yanna with her mom, D'Yana


I was scared when she was diagnosed. But St. Jude is wonderful. They help take the stress away.

D'Yana, Ari'Yanna's mom


Ari’Yanna became a patient at St. Jude shortly after she was born, when tests revealed she had the disorder. The 3-year-old takes penicillin and hydroxyurea daily and has monthly appointments.

St. Jude shares resources and information about sickle cell disease to help Ari’Yanna’s mom understand the disorder. Vigilance and good compliance on the daily medication are critical to maintaining Ari’Yanna’s good health.

Patient Ari'Yanna with Nicole Dockery

Patient Ari'Yanna with nurse practicioner Nicole Dockery


Every visit we learn something new. They talk about sickle cell and the warning signs of pain crises.

D'Yana, Ari'Yanna's mom


A pain crisis is an episode of bone pain that can arise from causes such as infection and dehydration. For this reason, Ari’Yanna’s family knows to monitor her temperature and water intake closely — and to look for nonverbal signs that Ari’Yanna might not be well.

D’Yana has also learned to help her daughter cope with the emotions that could arise from having a serious condition.

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, such as sickle cell disease.


Today, we are leading the Sickle Cell Clinical Research and Intervention Program, which studies how sickle cell disease progresses over time, from childhood into adulthood, and how we can improve the quality of life for sickle cell disease patients, while we continue to search for cures.  

That’s a very good thing for kids like bright, funny, energetic — and sometimes bossy — Ari’Yanna.


Help our families focus on their sick child, not medical bills.

When you donate monthly, your gift means families, like Ari'Yanna's, never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

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