By Aaron Humes: Sickle cell anemia is a severe hereditary form of anemia – or “poor a blood” – in which a mutated form of hemoglobin distorts the red blood cells into a crescent shape at low oxygen levels. It is most common among those of African descent.
Well-known football official Ladrick “Mad Bull” Shepherd and his family have been struggling with the disease, which afflicts his son Keshawn Shepherd. Today, Shepherd is hosting a fundraiser in the Sugar City Orange Walk to help get his son to the United States for clinical trials for a new pill that may be able to help.
Shepherd is collaborating with Universal Radio for a radiothon and dollar drive at the Queen Elizabeth Park, in front of the Town Council’s offices; there will also be a barbecue sale.
The football marathon that was also planned, however, has been cancelled.
The disease has no known cure, and the only other available treatment is a full blood transfusion which is expensive. Shepherd expects that if the pill works for his son it may be able to help other families struggling with the disease.
If you wish to contribute, stop by the Central Park this morning or contact Shepherd at 671-8902. An Atlantic Bank account has been opened for contributions.
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