In honor of Sickle Cell Awareness Month, we will discuss this critical issue and the plight of the African-American community. Sickle cell anemia (uh-NEE-me-uh) is a serious disease in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a "C." Sickle cell anemia affects millions of people worldwide. The disease has no widely available cure. However, there are treatments for the symptoms and complications of the disease. Bone marrow transplants may offer a cure in a small number of cases. Due to improved treatment and care, people who have sickle cell anemia are now living into their forties or fifties, or longer.