INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) — Kimora Van Sciver was in the hospital Thursday being treated for a complication from sickle cell disease.
“I was diagnosed with a vascular necrosis,” she said. “I have a lack of flow of blood, there’s barely any blood flowing into my hip bones, so my bones got inflamed, swollen.”
Kimora — described as a smiley 12-year-old who loves science, health and beauty — can only walk with the help of crutches and will likely need a hip replacement by the end of the year.
“Her bone is dying,” Destiny Van Sciver, her mom said.
Kimora, and her 8-year-old sister Kylie, both suffer from the rare disease that alters the shape of red blood cells. The altered cells die early, creating a shortage of healthy red blood cells, and can block blood flow, causing extreme pain.
“When it flares up, I’m in a lot of pain,” Kimora said. “Like right now, I’m currently in the hospital due to this, and I’m in so much pain, but I’m pushing through to spread awareness.”
Kimora has spent much of her live in and out of hospital rooms, but in order for her and her sister to get longterm relief they need help from a donor since nobody in the family was a match.
“Our children are the first children on both our family’s sides to even have sickle cell,” Van Sciver said. “We didn’t even know what it was until our children were born.”
The family is partnering with DKMS to help find that match — a match that could help Kimora and Kylie live a life without pain.
“It will make sure I can live my life the way I want to live my life, reduce all these hospital visits and I’ll just be truly very happy,” Kimora said.
Sickle cell disease primarily affects African Americans and there is no cure. Those interested in signing up to see if they are a match can do so online.