Monday, July 20, 2009

NCAA Recommends Sickle Cell Trait Testing

My son plays football so this story is close to my heart.

The first time I heard about football players (with sickle cell) dying on the field was a story about a young player from Florida. I read, after he died from heat and over exertion, his family was blamed for "not telling anyone" that he had sickle cell trait. The problem was, he nor his family knew that he had sickle cell.

This terrible situation may be prevented forever, according to CBS Senior Writer, Dennis Dodd. In his June 29, 2009 article, NCAA to recommend schools test for sickle cell trait he states, ... the NCAA and Rice University settled a lawsuit brought by the family of a Rice football player (Dale Lloyd) who died in 2006 due to complications resulting from sickle cell trait.

As a result of the settlement, the NCAA, regarding player safety, will now recommend testing for sickle cell trait of its players. In addition, Rice will help sponsor NCAA legislation to make sickle cell trait testing mandatory

Dale Lloyd did not die in vain. The legacy he leaves behind will benefit football players all over America. They will be tested prior to those HOT summer workouts and maybe now, they won't blame the players for not knowing.

Read Dennis' article:

For more information on the subject:

Dale Lloyd Memorial Scholarship -

Black Coaches and Administrators -

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Exercise and Sickle Cell Care

When you are in pain the last thing you want to do is move your body. When a person with sickle cell disease has a episode of pain or “crisis, ” the pain is beyond understanding. What I have discovered is if I strengthen my body through exercise I am better able to manage pain. This is not to say exercise prevents a crisis or helps during a crisis. It is to say, a strong body is a healthy body.

Excessive exercise could cause over exertion and therefore, cause a sickle cell crisis. I am not advocating anything but gentle, consistent, light motion. Light weight lifting, gentle stretching, and easy cardio exercise.

Here’s my exercise regime. Three days a week: I stretch my legs to get ready for exercise, I walk for 30 minutes, then lift I light weights (3 or 5 lbs). To end it all, I gently stretch my arms, legs, neck, and back (somewhat like yoga stretching). After this exercise I feel strong and balanced. Of course, I eat well too….fruits and vegetables, and lean meats.

People with sickle cell disease have to participate in their own care. We have to take responsibility for what we CAN do to improve our health, and then let our medical professionals help us too. Keeping our appointments for preventive care; like mammograms, bone scans, blood test, eye exams, and dental exams all play a part in helping us live well.