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Sickle Cell Disease Treatment

St. Jude has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell programs in the country. We treat children with sickle cell disease from birth through age 18.


Our sickle cell disease specialization

St. Jude has been researching sickle cell disease since the hospital opened in 1962. Our milestones are many, and include:

  • The first research grant ever received by the hospital was for the study of sickle cell disease. 
  • In 1983, a St. Jude patient was the first in the world to be cured of sickle cell anemia through a stem cell/bone marrow transplant. 

Do you live in the Memphis or surrounding area? Interested in participating in research studies? 


New study needs African American volunteers

​The microSCpi Study, a new study to help researchers learn how bacteria that live in the stomach and intestine affect sickle cell disease, needs African American volunteers of any age to participate. Volunteers without sickle cell disease are welcome. Compensation will be provided for your time and effort. View flyer for more details.


New study needs African American or of African or Afro-Caribbean descent volunteers

The SPRINTS Study is asking for volunteers, ages 10-21, to help researchers learn more about sickle cell anemia (SCA) and exercise. You can help us do this even though you do not have SCA. Children and young adults should exercise every day whether or not they are healthy or have a health problem like Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA). But we do not know what levels of physical activity and exercise are safe for children with SCA. This makes it hard for doctors to tell children with SCA and their parents how much and how hard children with SCA can exercise or play sports. Compensation will be provided for your time and effort.  View flyer for more details.

Brain Tumor Treatment

St. Jude provides outstanding treatment and educational resources to help patients with sickle cell and other blood disorders live long, happy, and healthy lives.

How does St. Jude treat blood disorders?

Brain Tumor Treatment
Why St. Jude

From exceptional patient care to innovative research, St. Jude is one of the nation's leading centers for sickle cell disease.

What makes St. Jude unique for sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell patient and doctor
Sickle Cell Referrals

St. Jude is the primary treatment center for children with sickle cell disease in the Memphis area. We also consider referrals of children who are eligible for an open clinical trial. 

Can my child come to St. Jude?

Sickle cell book
Educational Materials

Explore our free publications to learn more about sickle cell disease, treatments and healthy lifestyle choices for patients.

Sickle cell educational materials

Brain Tumor Treatment
The STEP Program

The Sickle Cell Transition E-Learning Program (STEP) offers videos that help teens with sickle cell disease successfully transition to adult medical care.

STEP video modules for teens


Sickle Cell Awareness

St. Jude is working toward better treatments and cures for children and teens with sickle cell disease.


Transition Skills for Teens with Sickle Cell Disease

Educational videos to help teens successfully manage the move from pediatric to adult care, from making appointments to understanding health insurance. 

View the Videos

thumbnail from educational video

Your treatment team

Dr. Reiss and patient

Since 1962, parents and doctors have sent children with sickle cell disease to St. Jude. The reason is simple: outstanding expertise from exceptional professionals.

Leah hasn’t had any hospitalizations in almost two years. I just love the treatment she receives at St. Jude.

Temaiko, mother of Leah, sickle cell patient

Diagnosing sickle cell disease and hemoglobin traits

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells containing mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. These red blood cells become sickle-shaped (crescent-shaped).

If one family member has sickle cell disease, other members may also carry the trait, or pass it on to their children. Learn more about the disease, how it's diagnosed, and abnormal hemoglobin traits.

St. Jude video

Living with Sickle Cell Disease: Shaniya's story

Diagnosed with sickle cell disease, Shaniya came to St. Jude when she was 5 years old. Now 16, she strives to be a normal teenager, one not defined by her disease. Teens with sickle cell face challenges when transitioning from adolescent to adult care. St. Jude is working to reverse that trend with education, research and partnerships with adult care facilities.

Refer a Sickle Cell Patient