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Sick Cells

Marqus Valentine is a 26-year-old film student at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. From the outside, he looks like anyone else. Inside, however, there is a different story taking place.

If we were to take a closer look at Marqus’ red blood cells, we would see that they are twisted into odd, c-like shapes.

Marqus was diagnosed at six months old with a genetic, life-long blood disorder called Sickle Cell Anemia. Since then, Marqus has been in the hospital over a hundred times for multiple Sickle Cell complications including: stroke, lung failure, blood transfusions, surgeries and for what is considered the worst side effect of living with Sickle Cell Diseaselong periods of unending, excruciating pain which doctors and patients call “going into crisis.” Sick Cells is the story of one family’s struggle against a genetic fate and their fight for survival fed mainly by their intense love for each other, religious faith and strong sense of humor.