Cell Website For Children Launches, Becoming the First of Its Kind
in the World
The first phase
of an innovative web site designed for children with sickle cell anemia
was recently launched, making it the first web site of its kind specifically
designed for youngsters suffering from the debilitating disease. It
is targeted at children ages 5 to 13. The site, www.SickleCellKids.org,
is designed by Atlanta artist Cynthia Gentry, and launched May 1. Various
components will be added to the site over the next several months with
the final launch coming at the end of 2002.
Done in collaboration with
the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center (www.scinfo.org)
at Grady Memorial Hospital, the interactive website receives its primary
medical content from Emory University School of Medicine physicians
at the Sickle Cell Center. James Eckman, M.D., director of the Georgia
Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center and professor of hematology/oncology
at the Winship Cancer Institute, Lewis Hsu, M.D., assistant professor
of pediatric hematology/oncology, and Allan Platt, PA-C, program manager,
are the primary contributors to the site. Another contributor is Beatrice
Gee, M.D., assistant professor of pediatric hematology at Morehouse
School of Medicine, in a fine example of the Emory-Morehouse collaboration.
The web site is filled with
colorful, computerized flash animation, featuring games, quizzes, helpful
health information about sickle cell disease, a pain diary, medical
questionnaire, and ways that children can care for themselves, among
other features. The sickle cell center plans to use the information
gathered from online pre- and post-visit testing to monitor how well
the site impacts children's understanding of sickle cell disease.
Gentry has received a $50,000
grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the web site, and
is grateful for the show of support for the project. She expects the
site to help thousands of children worldwide.
"SickleCellKids.org is exciting
because it will take the best information available on the disease and
translate it into terms that children can understand," said Gentry,
who started designing the web site after she met children with sickle
cell. "We will utilize techniques that will help ensure kids incorporate
what is learned into their daily lives. We have been collecting data
from day one to determine if we are succeeding in our goal. What you
see online today is just the beginning; there is much, much more yet
Platt said he is excited
about the web site's launching.
"This is the fulfillment
of a dream," he noted. "This is the kind of content we want available
to kids and parents. This web site puts information in the laps of children
and families across the world."