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Tiana’s Story

My name is Tiana Isaac I am 18 years old. I was born May 16, 1999. My Parents are Andre and Tiffany Einfeldt. I have four siblings, three brothers and one sister. At birth, my newborn screen reported I had sickle-cell anemia. At 6 months, my disease started to take its course and I began dealing with pain crisis, swelling of my hands, feet, fingers, legs, and my arms. At the age of five, I suffered from a stroke that left me with nerve damage and I was paralyzed on my right side of my body. I had physical therapy for 8 months to back gain my strength.

In elementary school, I regularly contracted pneumonia, (which in sickle cell term it called CHEST CRISIS) and was frequently admitted to the hospital. This caused me to wear oxygen on a daily basis.  I was diagnosed with hypertension in my heart and lung. I acquired Asthma and was required to get blood exchanges/ transfusions every 3 weeks to help reduce pain. The treatment removed the sickle blood and replace non- sickle blood into my body.

During my medical appointment on December 2013, the medical team informed me the importance of adhering to medication regimen; if I did not take the medication and not doing what I was supposed to be doing, that I may die before my 16th birthday!

My health was getting worse the older I got and the medical team suggested a bone marrow transplant and stated that if I don’t follow doctor orders, I won’t make it to the age of 21.

As I got older, the disease got worse with pain and suffering. I took 12 medications a day to stay alive and be healthy and to control the pain.

I decided to have a meeting with all my family, the doctors and medical team to explain the transplant procedure.

In 2016, I signed off to start the trial for my transplant. I had to show the doctors that I am ready for the transplant process by following their medical advice and that I take all my medications. After the transplant, I will be prescribed even more medicine, so it was important to show that I am medication compliant.

The medical team explained that I would be getting a Brovac, a port where they can put medicine and other things into my body and that I would be getting higher chemo doses than given in a standard cancer treatment.

The team stated that I might experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and that during the chemotherapy treatment days that only close family members to visit. The nausea caused by the medications can last for several days to several weeks after the medications are received into my body and anti-nausea medications will reunite after chemo. It takes 10 to 28 days before the donor cells began to grow.

The types of chemo was called Thiotepa, Busulfan, and Fludarabine. May 8th 2017 I was admitted to the hospital to start my transplant. The doctors said that I would be in there for 6 months to a year. However, I only ended up being in there for 32 days!

With the grace of God, I was discharged from the hospital June 20. I am so happy and glad I had this experience and with NO problems, like a champion!

I am currently finishing high school, working on driver’s education and obtained my first job at Wendy’s Restaurant.

I am still dealing with hypertension in my heart and lungs, but I am cured!  No more Sickle Cell… June 21st, 2018 I will be 1 year cured! I am a Sickle-Cell Anemia Warrior and am strong and a fighter. This year I was named the Sickle Cell Ambassador of 2018.

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