World Sickle Cell Day
World Sickle Cell Day is a United Nations recognized day to raise sickle cell awareness nationally and internationally. On December 22, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that acknowledges sickle cell disease as a public health problem and “one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases.” The resolution calls for members to raise sickle cell awareness on June 19 of each year.
What is Sickle Cell (SCD)?
Sickle cell disorders are a group of illnesses that affect your red blood cells. Sickle cell is a genetic condition, which means it is passed on from your parents, and you are born with it; you cannot catch it from other people.
Sickle cell disorders cause your normally round and flexible blood cells to become stiff and sickle-shaped, stopping the blood cells and the oxygen they carry from being able to move freely around the body and causing pain. This can cause episodes of severe pain. These painful episodes are referred to as sickle cell crisis. They are treated with strong painkillers such as morphine to control the pain.
People with sickle cell are also at risk of complications, stroke, acute chest syndrome, blindness, bone damage, and priapism (a persistent, painful erection of the penis).
Over time people with sickle cell can experience damage to organs such as the liver, kidney, lungs, heart, and spleen. Death can also result from complications of the disorder. Treatment of sickle cell mainly focuses on preventing and treating complications.
Check out these opportunities to get involved on World Sickle Cell Day
The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SDAA) announced the first-ever “Lift Every Voice to Shine the Light on Sickle Cell” spoken word contest on World Sickle Cell Day. Sponsored by Global Blood Therapeutics and SCDAA, the event aims to elevate the voices of the SCD community. People living with SCD and their caregivers are invited to sign up to submit original spoken word pieces about their experience with SCD.
Shine the Light on Sickle Cell
SiNERGe, in collaboration with Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA), will hold “Shine the Light on Sickle Cell,” a 24-hour awareness campaign, on June 19. This national awareness effort encourages community-based organizations, individuals, and anyone concerned about sickle cell disease. Learn more about Shine the Light and get involved by visiting the Shine the Light website and share that you’ll be participating on Facebook.
Make a world of difference in a sickle cell warrior’s life and join SCDAA’s campaign to promote diverse blood donations on World Sickle Cell Day! Mark your calendar and schedule an appointment today.