When the sickle shaped blood cells clump together, it can cause pain in certain areas of the body. This is easily brought on by extreme cold or extreme heat. This means that Lia cannot play sports or take part in other strenuous activities, so she focuses her creativity into drawing or painting. She also works hard to be one of the best students in her class. She makes straight A’s in school and wants to be a scientist one day to help find a cure for diseases like hers. But right now, Lia needs the help of blood donors.
Since Lia has received several blood transfusion, she needs blood from donors who are genetically similar to her. For Lia, and many with sickle cell disease, this means donors from the African-American community.