Porscha was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was four years old. As she got older, the painful episodes caused by the disease became more frequent and difficult to recover from.
“By my early 20s, I felt like my disease had taken over. I had little hope of living a normal life,” says Porscha.
In 2011, Burks met BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Dr. Joshua Field, whose work at our Blood Research Institute focuses on discovering new treatments, and ultimately cures, for people like her. Porscha started receiving regular blood transfusions — red cell exchange therapy — every four weeks.
“It changed my life,” says Porscha. “Receiving blood has allowed me to do all of the things most people take for granted, like hold a part-time job, being social and accomplish my goals in life. And I attribute that to something as simple as blood donation.”