Cassandra Trimnell was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia in 1987 when she was just a baby.

She inherited the gene that causes this disease from both of her parents, meaning she has sickle cell type SS. This means she can experience the worst symptoms — including fatigue, extreme joint pain, anemia, and infections — at a higher rate.  

She's not the only one with sickle cell in her family either. Her younger sister Joanne was also born with it, and two of her other siblings have the trait, which means they don't have the disease but can pass it along to their children.

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A super-rare illness might take her sight, so she's seeing the world while she still can.

There’s a very real possibility that 15-year-old Alexis Meyers will become completely blind in the next few years. Before that happens, she and her family are trying their hardest to make sure she sees as much of the world as she can.

Even when she was little, Alexis knew something wasn’t quite right with her eyes.

She remembers it starting in third grade. "It was harder to read books, and I couldn't see the blackboard," she says. Her hearing loss that had started in kindergarten was worse too.

Alexis and her family at Disneyland Paris. Image via the Meyers family, used with permission.

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