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Giant Eagle spotlight: A wealth of resources for sickle cell anemia

Ambrazae

Ambrazae

When Ambrazae was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at birth, her parents knew they were going to have many obstacles ahead.

To show thanks to for the care Ambrazae has received at Akron Children’s Hospital, she will be participating in a campaign at Giant Eagle stores, which will benefit Akron Children’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Ambrazae was born with sickle cell anemia, an inherited disorder of the hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells.

Normal red blood cells are doughnut-shaped so they can squeeze through blood vessels to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Red sickle cells are hard, sticky and shaped like sickles.

Since it’s difficult for these hard and pointed red cells to circulate through the blood vessels properly, they clog the flow of oxygen. As a result, they can cause extreme pain episodes, stroke and increased infections, among other complications.

Ambrazae has pain crises, has had respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and respiratory failure during her short life.

“The most challenging time for us was when she had the respiratory failure,” said Ambrazae’s mother, Starlett. “It was hard because she was so little, less than 6 months old.”

Ambrazae’s family is thankful for the staff at Akron Children’s, who have also treated her older sister for sickle cell disease.

“The staff provides great resources,” said Starlett. “They provide us with financial resources, networking resources, support groups – they’re very informative.”

Starlett is thankful that her family has a hospital close to home with a friendly staff who are accommodating in every way.

Giant Eagle stores in Stark, Summit, Medina and Portage counties are collecting donations on behalf of the Akron Children’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders from May 30 – June 26.

Make sure to tell your cashier you would like to donate $1 to help patients like Ambrazae.

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