June 19th, 2021 is World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. This international day of awareness is annually observed to increase public knowledge and more understanding on sickle cell disease. Due to this disease, there are many challenges patients, their parents, and caregivers experience.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common form of an inherited blood disorder. In a healthy person, their red blood cells are round, and their job is to move through the blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the human body. When someone has SCD, their red blood cells transform into a sticky, hard surface that looks like a c-shaped farm tool that is a “sickle”.
Since these sickle cells die early, it causes a shortage of red blood cells flowing through the body. They also clog blood flow when they travel through small blood vessels, which can cause a lot of pain, infection, strokes, and acute chest syndrome.
This year SiNERGe, in collaboration with Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA), will have a “Shine the Light on Sickle Cell” campaign. This is a 24-hourcampaign that will encourage organizations that are based in the communities, individuals, and everyone that is concerned about this disease to get involved. If you visit the Shine the Light website you can find different events, resources, and FAQs about sickle cell disease.
You can make a difference in someone’s life by helping get diverse blood donations on World Sickle Cell Day. Today we need to find a universal cure for this disease that affects 70,000 to 100,000 Americans.