Jamill’s mom describes him as mellow and sweet. This 4-year-old loves riding his bike and going to basketball games. The first few years of his life have been difficult due to sickle cell disease, but St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been there every step of the way to ease his pain and keep him as healthy as possible.
When Jamill was born, tests revealed he suffered from sickle beta thalassemia disease, a subtype of sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that affects the hemoglobin within the red blood cells, causing the cells to become hard and form a sickle shape. The sickle shaped cells can cause pain, organ damage or stroke.
St. Jude has a deep and longstanding commitment to children with sickle cell disease. Scientists at the hospital have been researching the disease since the institution opened in 1962. With more than 750 patients in its sickle cell program, St. Jude remains one of the leaders in the crusade to spare children the suffering this chronic disease causes.
Little Jamill has experienced pain crises and high fevers associated with sickle cell disease, often needing to be hospitalized for days at a time.
“As soon as I call and let St. Jude know we are on the way, they get Jamill’s room ready,” said his mom, Tanshika. “I know they are taking really good care of him.”
Jamill’s treatment at St. Jude includes daily penicillin and any additional care he might need to manage symptoms of the disease. He visits St. Jude every three months for routine checkups.
“Jamill’s pain crises have occurred less often as he gets older and continues treatment,” Tanshika explained. “I really like everyone at St. Jude. We’ve always been well taken care of thanks to the doctors and all of the staff.”