After last year's first-ever sickle-cell anemia cure scientists at John Hopkins are convinced a trend is underway.   Robert Brodsky, director of the hematology division at the John Hopkins University Medicine, successfully cured Pamela Newton of Capital Heights, Maryland of her sickle-cell disease in May 2008 through a new intensive chemotherapy and a follow-up bone-marrow transplant.  That was not just news; that was some of the most amazing news to travel through the African-American community in eons.

I'm no doctor and I certainly lean toward a more homeopathic route toward physical and emotional healing, but sickle-cell anemia is one of those diseases that seem to only respond to the magic within the medical industry.  Like many, sickle cell has been a perpetual visitor in my family.  All nine of my first-cousins and my siblings carry the sickle-cell trait [including me].  My mother and her siblings carried the trait as well.  My grandparents and, I assume, a few of their siblings carried it, too.  My mother's sister lived with the actual anemia and died at the age of 24.  And on my dad's side, a younger cousin lives with the anemia.  My maternal grandmother often told the story of a grand-uncle who used to run into the woods, screaming from pain.   As a child the story of her uncle's behavior appeared bizarre.  When her daughter was born with the anemia she then understood what her undiagnosed grand-uncle endured.


I'm excited to hear about Brodsky's discovery and confidence in this new interdisciplinary procedure.  However, I do wonder if a healthier diet could help curb some of the painful episodes of sickle-cell.  Healthier diets and stressless environments.  I'm curious.

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.

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