Keeping a kid healthy…and on her toes.

Tanaya Anderson is a ballet dancer. She’s also a gymnast and cheerleader.

Not long ago, though, Tanaya spent a lot of time in the hospital because she has sickle cell anemia, which means there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout her body. As a result, these red blood cells can slow or block blood flow.

When Tanaya was 2 months old she had her first sickle cell crisis, a very painful and serious event. From that time on until she was 7 years old, she was in and out of the hospital 150 times or more until doctors could get her stabilized with medication.

Her physicians in hematology services at Niswonger Children’s Hospital found a treatment that has given Tanaya her childhood back.

“The hospital provides her with a drug, hydroxyurea, that has been a night-and-day success,” said David Anderson, Tanaya’s father. “We went from being in the hospital every few months to no hospitalizations in five years.”

Together, the Andersons still have to be vigilant about her health, but thanks to the treatment Tanaya receives from Niswonger Children’s Hospital, she’s able to enjoy being a normal, active kid, and living a productive life.