Growing up, Mikaili and Khari Robertson often felt different from other kids.
They kept gallon-sized water jugs sitting by their desks at school, couldn’t play outside if it got too hot or too cold, and sometimes had to miss school because of bouts of extreme pain. It was all part of living with sickle cell anemia, a disease in which odd-shaped red blood cells make it difficult for blood to move through the body.
“It was hard not having someone understand why you can’t do certain things,” said Khari , now 20, who would avoid talking about the disease with other students.
Now college students, the brothers, with the help of their parents, who all live in Ellicott City,...