Could gene therapy cure sickle cell disease?


Manny Johnson believes in working out so he can look good and feel good.

But that’s never been easy for the 21-year-old, who suffers from the genetic disease sickle cell anemia, which causes his red blood cells to develop misshapen and leaves him short of breath and could kill him early.

Just to manage the disease, Manny was having monthly blood transfusions, and would have done so for the rest of his life – which likely would have been shorter than average due to the debilitating disease.

But it’s been nine months since his last transfusion, and doctors think that the experimental gene therapy he’s receiving could even be a cure for Manny and the other 250 million people – most of whom are black – living with sickle cell disease.

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