Sickle Cell Slime-O-RamaTM
Sickle cell disease is an inherited, lifelong disease that causes the body to make sickle- or C-shaped red blood cells. Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center. They move easily through your blood vessels. Sickle-shaped cells don’t move easily through the blood vessels. They’re stiff and sticky and tend to form clumps and get stuck in the blood vessels. The clumps of sickle cells block blood flow in the blood vessels that lead to the limbs and organs. Blocked blood vessels can cause pain, serious infections, and organ damage.
Sickle cell disease affects millions of people worldwide, and approxmiately 70,000 in the United States. The disease occurs in about 1 out of every 600 African American births and in 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic American births.
With good health care, many people who have sickle cell disease can live productive lives. They also can have reasonably good health much of the time and live longer today than in the past. Children and teens who have sickle cell disease can take steps to learn about the disease and manage it by:
- Adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Taking steps to prevent and control complications
- Learning ways to cope with pain
- Understanding how to prevent and control painful sickle cell crises
Starlight's Sickle Cell Slime-O-Rama™ game was designed to empower children with sickle cell disease to take charge of their illness, learn to prevent more severe pain episodes, communicate their pain to adults, and have a more positive outlook about themselves and their future.
Children search for meaning about their illness from a very young age, and studies have shown that children who are provided with information cope more effectively. This interactive educational online program helps children and teens learn through a fun and engaging quiz show, where children and teens, ages 6 to 14, are challenged to answer questions about sickle cell disease in order to collect slime balloons that are later used to slime the shows host -- all in good fun. Sickle Cell Slime-O-Rama was developed as a tool for children to actively explore information about medical procedures and conditions in kid-friendly language. It uses graphics and animation to depict the sickling action of cells, and help children understand fundamental principles about disease management. The game also reinforces the use of non-pharmacological interventions for mild pain episodes and the use of the pain scale. Children are able to seek information at their own pace, see animations of what is happening in their body or what doctors learn from tests, hear the sounds of machines they will experience, and learn coping strategies.
Developed under the direction of an interdisciplinary health care advisory team, the Sickle Cell Slime-O-Rama game is free to access online for children with sickle cell disease, their families and health care professionals.
In the News
USA Today - 11/7/2006 - Online games lift spirits of seriously ill kids
(Click here to read full article)
"Serious illness such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia can be frightening and confusing for children, but the Starlight Children's Foundation wants to help educate today's tech-savvy kids about these diseases in a way that appeals to them: through the Internet…
Tonya Hodge, 42, whose son Jaylen, 12, has sickle cell disease, says she started playing Slime-O-Rama about a year ago on CD-ROM, but now that the game is online, she likes to play it more often to refresh her memory about Jaylen's condition.
'(The game) helps me understand,' Hodge says. 'I like to see if I know what I'm talking about.'
Jaylen says he plays Slime-O-Rama every once in a while and believes the online games have helped him understand his disease better. He even seems to have it out for Slime-O-Rama's host. What's his favorite part? 'When you get to slime him!'"