- Marquita Gaines is a 20-year-old college student with sickle cell disease
- Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that can cause severe pain
- Gaines receives a red blood cell exchange transfusion every six weeks
- Each exchange transfusion requires 10 units of red blood cells
(CNN)As you can imagine, college life can be very eventful. Balancing classes, internships, and a life away from home is enough to keep anyone busy. As a 20-year-old living with a chronic illness, I have skillfully learned the balancing act of college life. My name is Marquita Gaines, and I have sickle cell disease.