Victoria Gray has sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD is a genetic disease that causes red blood cells to be half moon-shaped instead of round. The sickle-shaped cells block blood vessels, slowing or stopping blood flow. This causes sudden, severe pain. Complications include organ damage, strokes, anemia, and early death.
Victoria is participating in a clinical trial for SCD. She was treated in Nashville, Tennessee, making her the first person in the United States to undergo treatment for a genetic disease using a CRISPR-based therapy.
“They go from cells that make sickle cells to super cells—the cells that help me be better.”
NPR Correspondent Rob Stein broke the story in July 2019. You can follow him to get updates. In October and early November, he talked with Victoria to find out how things are going. Later in November, he talked to Victoria about evidence that the treatment is working. As of June 2020, Victoria appears to be thriving.
Click below to hear her story, or download wherever you get podcasts:
A Patient Hopes Gene-Editing Can Help With Pain Of Sickle Cell Disease
Morning Edition | NPR | October 10, 2019
A Revolutionary Experiment To Edit Human Genes
Short Wave | NPR | November 4, 2019
Gene-Edited ‘Supercells’ Make Progress In Fight Against Sickle Cell Disease
Morning Edition | NPR | November 19, 2019
A Young Mississippi Woman’s Journey Through A Pioneering Gene-Editing Experiment
All Things Considered | NPR | December 25, 2019
A Year In, 1st Patient To Get Gene Editing For Sickle Cell Disease Is Thriving
Morning Edition | NPR | June 23, 2020