For the newly diagnosedFind your shield here.

It can be overwhelming for anyone to be diagnosed with an uncured rare disease, such as wAIHA.

That's why we've built this space for those people and their caregivers who have recently received their wAIHA diagnoses. We hope you find these resources helpful and invite you to reach out if there's anything that we could add here!
Fellow Warriors on their diagnosis journeys
Every diagnosis journey is different. It can be difficult to communicate your symptoms, find a physician who is familiar with a rare condition such as wAIHA, and to keep fighting to get to a correct diagnosis. As you can see below, if you've had a winding path to diagnosis, you are hardly alone.
"My WAIHA came with warning signs for years … mostly dark brown urine. The signs are often overlooked and misdiagnosed. My doctors said it was all in my head."
“Diagnosing my wAIHA was more like an episode of Dr. House … a mystery that took years to solve.”
“I was diagnosed in June 2019.
Mine was a sudden, acute onset.”
"I was diagnosed with wAIHA after a birthday party celebration and noticed I was jaundiced."
“I was diagnosed in June 2019.
Mine was a sudden, acute onset.”
What places you at high risk of wAIHA?
While each wAIHA story is unique, these are the traits that are most prevalent in those who live with the rare condition.
You have a familial history of autoimmune disease
You have lupus -- specifically, systemic lupus erythemasosus, or SLE
You have chronic lymphocitic leukemia (CLL) or other non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Other common wAIHA symptoms
Other common signs and symptoms that are seen in those with hemolytic anemia include:
Paleness of the skin
Fatigue
Fever
Confusion
Lightheadedness
Dizziness
Weakness or difficulty in doing physical activity
Other signs and symptoms commonly seen include:
- Dark urine

- Jaundice

- Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes

- Heart murmur

- Increased heart rate

- Enlarged spleen

- Enlarged liver
Testing for wAIHA
wAIHA is diagnosed most efficiently through a direct antiglobulin test, DAT, also known as the Coombs Test, a simple blood test that can be ordered in an emergency room.
How the Coombs Test works ⟶
A blood sample is drawn from the patient.
The patient's washed red blood cells are incubated with antihuman anitbodies.
In a positive result, the red blood cells and antihuman antibodies bind together.