COLUMBUS, GA - (WTVM) It's a disease that can cause serious pain and discomfort. Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that threatens the bodies oxygen supply.
"If you want to do anything you have to get out there early and do it because your body won't tolerate the heat as well as others," says Samuel Rivers who suffers from sickle cell. "Once you get dehydrated a little bit, it is going to set off a pain crisis and you will end up having to go to the emergency room."
The Association of Sickle Cell offers a service for those that deal with the disease on a daily basis to talk about the issues that they face.
Support groups meet each month.
Those who attend enjoy a fun time together but also learn how to better manage their condition.
Association members say there is one tool better than any to deal with sickle cell, testing.
"You'll know if you have sickle cell disease typically you don't know if you have sickle cell trait," says Community health worker Ashley Catchings.
Thanks to state legislation in Georgia, each newborn is tested for sickle cell anemia.
For those living with the disease, its all about knowing your body and what you can handle.
If you would like more information on the Sickle Cell Association, you can contact them by email or their office at (706) 566-6329.