Happy Black History Month! Sickle cell can be painful and hard to manage, but it doesn’t need to stop you from following your dreams. This month, we’ll share the inspirational stories of household names and notable figures who didn’t let sickle cell hold them back. 

Meet Billy Garrett Jr., the first known person with sickle cell disease to play in the NBA. Billy grew up in Chicago, playing competitive basketball despite words of caution from his doctors. To keep playing, Garrett learned to balance hydration, rest and exertion through a process of trial and error that would occasionally lead to crises. His passion and dedication carried him through these obstacles and onto the court as a member of the DePaul Blue Demons, the New York Knicks and the Lakeland Magic. Off the court, we’re honored to have him on our team as one of our celebrity ambassadors. Hear his story and how he learned to play despite the pain.