Bryce has been a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since he was 8 weeks old when his parents, Bruce and Adrienne, learned he had sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder that results in red blood cells becoming hard and sickle-shaped. The shape disrupts the normal flow of blood in the body, which can cause painful and sometimes life-threatening side effects.
“We were in a panic, we were in shock,” Adrienne said. “But from our first visit to St. Jude, someone was there to talk to us, to tell us about sickle cell disease. They had a plan, they had a team in place for us. That meant I could focus on just being a mom to Bryce.”
Bryce’s treatment includes penicillin and hydroxyurea, which is a drug used to help reduce cell sickling as well as many of the major complications of sickle cell disease. “St. Jude reminded me to set goals for Bryce, just like we do with his sister, Chloe,” said Adrienne. “They helped me focus on the good. And even with our challenges, we’ve had so many more good days than bad.”
Bryce is a happy, energetic kid who asks a lot of questions, loves playing with his sister and putting together puzzles. “There’s a real possibility we could see a cure for sickle cell during Bryce’s lifetime, and that’s priceless for us,” Adrienne said. “St. Jude gives us hope.”