When a routine newborn screening showed that Cedric had sickle cell disease, his family was referred immediately to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell disease programs in the country. Because people with sickle cell disease are prone to infections — some of which can be life-threatening — St. Jude doctors initially placed Cedric on penicillin.
When he was about 3 years old, Cedric was enrolled in a study testing hydroxyurea in the treatment of pediatric sickle cell patients. At the end of the study, Cedric was doing so well, his parents decided to continue with hydroxyurea, which reduces both sickling of cells and many of the major complications of sickle cell disease.
I can’t even picture how bad it would be without the support that St. Jude offers families.
Families 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. And Cedric’s parents are grateful they don’t have to worry about the finances. “It can be a lot of trips back and forth to the hospital, and if you’re missing work, you’re missing income,” said his mom. “So, not to be billed is a plus.”
Cedric’s dad added, “I can’t even picture how bad it would be without the support that St. Jude offers families.”
Cedric is now 10 years old and will begin the fifth grade in the fall. He returns to St. Jude for checkups every three to four months. Cedric loves playing basketball and roots for the Oklahoma City Thunder, because Kevin Durant is his favorite player.