Fox High School sophomore Kristina Jordan died Friday evening after a long battle with sickle cell anemia, school officials say. She was a member of the Fox Band Program.
"Kristina had the disease since birth," said Judy Hoelzer, a school spokesperson. "Her struggle worsened in July, and this fall she was hospitalized."
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that changes the shape of red blood cells, which are normally round, into irregular shapes that look like sickles or crescent moons, according to mayoclinic.com.
It's a condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to adequately carry oxygen throughout the body, the website reports. There is no cure for the disease.
Staff members learned of the death this morning and shared the news with their students. A letter notifying parents of Kristina's passing will be sent home with all students this afternoon. The district's grief counselors are be on hand at the school to provide extra support to students.
Visitation for Kristina will be held Saturday, Dec. 1 at Zion City Church at 3961 Iowa Ave. in St. Louis from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The funeral will follow at 12:30 p.m.
See previous story: Fox School District Community Mourning Loss of Another Student