Road2TheCure.com follows one woman (named Constance D. Benson's) journey to being cured of Sickle Cell Disease via a Bone Marrow Transplant. That Bone Marrow Transplant, which was highly experimental at the time and held no guarantee that it would work, drastically changed the course of that woman's life for the better.
This website is meant to inspire any person that is going through a serious, real-life situation (like battling a life threatening disease, overcoming depression...) and is unsure if you have the strength to make it just one more day.
Sickle Cell Disease (also known as Sickle Cell Anemia and SCD)
"is a disease in which your body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells. The cells are shaped like a crescent or sickle. They [the Sickle Cells] don't last as long as normal, round red blood cells. This leads to anemia. The sickle cells also get stuck in blood vessels, blocking blood flow" (NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2017). When these cells start to block the flow of blood, this causes pain in those who have Sickle Cell. The pain that they feel varies in severity, location and degree of pain from person to person, crisis to crisis and episode to episode.
Sickle Cell Quote Obtained from: https://medlineplus.gov/sicklecellanemia.html
Picture Obtain from:
On October 30, 2012, I (Constance D. Benson) became the very first person in the world cured of Sickle Cell Disease via the Stride-HCT Bone Marrow Transplant Study. My little sister (Samantha F. Benson pictured to the left) saved my life by donating her bone marrow to me. Now to some people, this may not be a big deal, but it meant the world to me. At the time of my bone marrow transplant, my life was spiraling out of control. I was constantly in and out of the hospital. Within the span of two years, I went from having an active social life and pursuing my dream of being a professional runway model (with Wilhelmina in Conshohocken PA) to losing almost all of my friends and fighting to live.
There is a lot more to my story than what meets the eye.
*I hope that my testimony inspires and uplifts anyone going through a storm.
A common misconception that individuals with Sickle Cell Disease face is ignorance, bias and misinformation. The medical community, as a whole, does not fully understand Sickle Cell Disease. As a result of this lack of understanding, most medical professionals who encounter patients with Sickle Cell Disease (in places like the Emergency Room) treat them according to their stereotypes, looks or prejudices.
In an effort to share her story and inspire a change in the way the medical community sees patients with Sickle Cell Disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached out to Constance D. Benson for help. Mary Hulihan, MPH, DrPH and Mandip Kaur, MPH, interviewed Constance and wrote a powerful article that beautifully explains the obstacles that a number of Sickle Cell patients face on a daily basis.
Link to CDC Blog Article: https://blogs.cdc.gov/healthequity/2017/06/19/sicklecelldisease/
*Special thanks to: The CDC, Mandip Kaur and Mary Hulihan, for writing this story and for shedding light on the issues we face in the Sickle Cell Community.
This pamphlet explains the Stride-HCT Bone Marrow Transplant Study. This study, in which Constance D. Benson was the first to participate in, is being used to cure adults with Sickle Cell Disease. Thanks to the progress seen in this study, the NIH is currently working on phase II of this study. Phase II of the Stride-HCT Bone Marrow Transplant ACCEPTS MEDICAID!
Emory Winship Cancer Institute
Dr. Edmund Waller
Office Phone: (404) 778- 1900
Office Address: 1365 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30322
*(The doctor who cured Constance via the Stride-HCT bone marrow transplant was Dr. Edmund Waller)
Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, P.C.
Dr. Carmen Klass
Office Phone: (770) 281-5100
Office Address: 340 Kennestone Hospital Blvd #200, Marietta, GA 30060
*(DR. CARMEN KLASS is the BEST HEMATOLOGIST/ SICKLE CELL DOCTOR EVER!!! She treated and helped manage my (Constance) Sickle Cell.)
BE THE MATCH The National Marrow Donor Program
Be The Match ® , which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program ® (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. If you are getting a transplant, thinking about getting a transplant, donating bone marrow or thinking of donating bone marrow, visit BE THE MATCH.
BE THE MATCH Website: https://bethematch.org/
*(I cannot recommend them (Be The Match) enough. Thanks to their staff, connections and resources, my Road 2 The Cure was smooth.
If you would like to book Constance D. Benson as a speaker or send Constance D. Benson a message, click the "Message Me" button below.