12-year-old cured of sickle cell disease – ‘Elliot was one of the lucky ones’

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One year after receiving a stem cell transplant, 12-year-old Elliot Preddie from Indianapolis has been cured of sickle cell disease.

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Elliot was born with sickle cell disease. The disorder, which is inherited, affects hemoglobin. Those with sickle cell disease typically have abnormally shaped red blood cells.

Symptoms of the disorder begin in early childhood and can consist of periods of pain, anemia, and infections.

“We’ve been on this long journey with sickle cell anemia since he was born,” Elliot’s mom, Tremesha, told WTHR in 2019.

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“He just couldn’t enjoy life as a kid,” she said. “Because of sickle cell, Elliot was always a kid who struggled with energy level and stamina and he got dehydrated very easily.”

The disease affected so many aspects of his life and eventually it was the reason he quit playing sports.

“When I was younger, I played sports a lot, but then I got too cold from my sickle cell. That’s why I started quitting all my sports. My baseball and soccer,” he said.

While measures can be taken to manage the disease – his younger brother, who has had a vastly difference experience than Elliot, takes a few maintenance medications – there is only one potential cure, a stem cell transplant.

Thankfully, Elliot found a matching donor and in 2019 he underwent a stem cell transplant.

The surgery went well, and though there was a risk his body would reject the transplant, one year later he is now free of the disease.

Even though Elliot no longer has the potentially deadly disease, Tremesha will continue to push for research and education.

This is excellent news! I hope Elliot grows up to be a strong, healthy young man, and I hope his brother is able to continue receiving the care he needs to maintain the disease.

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