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September 7, 2022
Did you know that sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States? It affects nearly 100,000 Americans and more than 20 million people worldwide. With SCD, red blood cells, which are typically disc-shaped and flexible, are instead crescent, or “sickle,” shaped. The cells do not bend or move easily and can block blood flow throughout the body. This can lead to serious conditions such as stroke and infections, as well as eye problems and episodes of severe pain called pain crises.
Each September, people living with SCD, along with caregivers, advocates, healthcare providers, and others, come together for National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Their goal: to help improve knowledge and understanding about the disease and dispel myths and stigmas surrounding it. The observance month also brings attention to the ongoing need for research, better patient care, new treatments, and widely available cures.
Over the years, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has supported research that has helped make important discoveries possible. In fact, since 2017, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved four new drugs to treat SCD, and NHLBI provided research fundings to help support development of several of these drugs. In addition, through its Cure Sickle Cell Initiative, researchers and clinicians are advancing promising genetic therapies to cure SCD through clinical trials.
Visit the NHLBI Blood Diseases and Disorders Education Program’s National Sickle Cell Awareness Month webpage for educational materials, including fact sheets, social media resources, and more, that can help bring greater visibility to SCD this September and throughout the year.
Article from the National Institute of Health. ttps://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/sickle-cell-month
About the Blogger
Izora is an Elder in the AME Zion Church in Central Florida. She is married to Rev. Ron Bullock and together they have six children and several grand and great-grandchildren. Besides, spending time with family and friends, she is an avid volunteer Community Health Worker, seeking to bring together faith and good health practices. She is fondly known as Rev. I.