Julien Apedjinou in his home in Bielefeld. He suffers from sickle cell disease and has suffered and continues to suffer many of the condition's wide-ranging impacts, including severe pain crises resulting from capillary occlusion, hemolytic anemia, organ damage, debilitating avascular necrosis of the hip joint and stroke. Some sickle cell patients' quality of life is greatly improved by regular transfusions of healthy blood, and when a suitable donor can be found stem cell transplantation offers a cure. In Apedjinou's case, he has developed an adverse reaction to transfused blood, and has been unable to find a stem cell donor. He is pinning his hopes on emerging gene therapies, and dreams of being able to work and get married to his girlfriend of many years.