Jourdan Dunn to Bring Awareness to Sickle Cell Anemia

The supermodel's son was diagnosed with the blood disorder.

Posted: 08/01/2012 10:17 AM EDT
Jourdan Dunn

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn wants to lend her support to the Sickle Cell Society, especially now that her son, Riley, has been diagnosed with the disorder.

"It's something people don’t really know about, due to the fact it’s genetic, so it doesn’t have the high profile of HIV or malaria," Dunn tells the Sunday Times Style Magazine.

Sickle cell is a genetic blood disorder that typically strikes people of Afro-Caribbean and African descents and decreases the amount of oxygen carried around the body by red blood cells. And because the blood cells are crescent-shaped instead of discs, they can get stuck or break apart in small blood vessels, further decreasing oxygen flow to body tissues.

"The first time Riley had a crisis, I was working in New York and due to travel to Puerto Rico. Mum was amazing and reassured me he was in the best hands and that I should keep working," she says. "Riley looks just like a normal boy, but I can’t get away from the fact he has a serious disease."


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