Chasing the Crescent Moon: The Story of Dr. Frempong and Sickle Cell Disease
A genetic disease mostly affecting those of African descent, sickle cell produces debilitating pain and a life sometimes cut short, especially for the undiagnosed. And as a burden largely borne by the underprivileged, sickle cell is not just a medical problem, but a social one. Chasing the Crescent Moon explored the challenges posed by sickle cell through the story of one physician and the lives he has touched. Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong grew from a child of Ghanaian cocoa farmers to become a Yale scholar, an Olympic athlete, and one of the most important international warriors against sickle cell. He also bore a son who suffers from the disease. In his greatest accomplishment, Dr. Frempong established the only city-wide newborn screening for sickle cell in all of West Africa, where 1 in 50 babies suffers from the illness. The documentary related Dr. Frempong's remarkable journey as well as the dramatic stories of his coworkers, staff, patients and their families. Set in Ghana and Philadelphia, the documentary traveled from the high tech Comprehensive Sickle Cell Clinic that Dr. Frempong heads at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to his overcrowded Ghanaian clinic. The stories educate, advocate and entrance, conveying the unusual medical and social burdens faced by those fighting sickle cell.