Sickle cell breakthrough?

Posted at: 02/20/2014 1:50 PM
By: Ursula Madden, WSMV

Photo: WSMV

(WSMV) --  Doctors at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital discovered a medical breakthrough in a decades-old drug used to treat adults with sickle cell anemia. In a clinical trial, the drug Hydroxyurea shows incredible results in young children also suffering the disease.

"It can cripple my children. They cannot walk if it's in their leg area. They can't walk on it," said mother Angela Ballentine. "They have not had a crisis since they've been on this drug."

Her children, 3-year-old Nyla and 6-year-old Blake, have sickle cell; the blood disorder turns normal red blood cells into a sickle shape making blood flow difficult. It affects one in every 500 African-Americans.

The extreme pain forces the family into many hospital visits.

Read more: WSMV