- Marquita Gaines is a 20-year-old college student with sickle cell disease
- Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that can cause severe pain
- Gaines receives a red blood cell exchange transfusion every six weeks
- Each exchange transfusion requires 10 units of red blood cells
Marquita Gaines is a college student living with sickle cell disease. She was diagnosed at birth and first presented symptoms at a young age. She currently receives regular blood cell transfusions administered by registered nurses from the American Red Cross to treat and prevent complications from the disease.
(CNN)As you can imagine, college life can be very eventful. Balancing classes, internships, and a life away from home is enough to keep anyone busy. As a 20-year-old living with a chronic illness, I have skillfully learned the balancing act of college life. My name is Marquita Gaines, and I have sickle cell disease.