Q: What is Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA)?
A: Diamond Blackfan Anemia (or DBA) is a rare blood anemia disorder in which the bone marrow does not produce red blood cells. The rest of their blood cells (the platelets and the white blood cells) are normal.
Q: How many people have DBA?
A: There are about 25-35 new cases of DBA per year in the United States and Canada. Only about 1,000 people in the US and Canada have DBA. It’s estimated to be 7 cases for every million children born in the US and Canada.
Q: Is there a cure for DBA?
A: The only cure available for DBA is bone marrow transplantation, which replaces the person’s defective bone marrow with healthy marrow. However, transplantation is a difficult procedure to go through and it doesn’t always work. It is usually reserved for people whom steroid medications and blood transfusions don’t help. 20% of patients with DBA go into spontaneous remission. That’s what Irelynn’s family prays for her.
Q: How did Irelynn get DBA?
A: Irelynn was born with her own genetic mutation of DBA (RSP26). Her father, mother & sister do not carry DBA. Irelynn has a 50% chance of passing DBA onto her children.
Q: How many blood transfusions has Irelynn had?
A: She’s had 113 blood transfusions to date.