You probably wouldn't guess this college freshman has sickle cell disease.

She went through a lot as a kid, but now she's finally coming out strong.

Taylor Delk just started college in Atlanta, and she can't wait to get into dating for the first time.

However, she has one major concern: when and how should she tell the boys she likes that she has a serious disease?

All photos via Taylor Delk.

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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

At first blush, LaTia Bell is just like any other high school senior.

She likes school, especially science, and keeps her grades up with college applications just around the corner. She just started playing tennis, and in her free time, she likes to read books and learn about sharks — her favorite animal. Like most other students in the U.S., the pressure is on to keep up, stand out, and excel as competition to gain college admission continues to grow more fierce.

What you can't see is that LaTia, despite all of her work ethic and enthusiasm, is chronically fatigued all the time.

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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Chalk up another big potential win for science – it just helped one kid avoid some of the devastating effects of sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a chronic, genetic blood disorder that affects about 100,000 Americans. It can affect anyone, although it disproportionately occurs in African-Americans. It’s manageable with medicine and proper care, but can still be dangerous and extremely painful. It's a lifelong condition.

Or, maybe not. Because that last part — about it being a lifelong condition – might be changing.

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