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May 20 , 2002


Sickle 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,, 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 ( 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.

" 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 to come."

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."

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