Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard, sticky, and look C-shaped. Sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
SCD affects millions of people world-wide and is particularly common among those whose ancestors come from subSaharan
Africa; regions in the Western Hemisphere such as South America, the Caribbean, & Central America; Saudi Arabia; India; and
Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy. An estimated 300,000 babies are born with SCD per year with approximately 90,000 to 100,000 people affected by SCD in the United States.
Although so many individuals are affected by sickle cell disease, it is one of the least recognized diseases in the United States. We at BLI, believe that is important to bring more awareness to SCD and those impacted by sickle cells disease. As is such, we have partnered with several sickle cell awareness organizations to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by SCD and to bring education and awareness surrounding SCD to the community. Through our partnerships we sponsor children with SCD to attend Sickle Cell Camp and Camp Sunshine each year. We also provide care packages, gas cards, and meal supplements to families hospitalized at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center. Throughout the year we host several fundraisers to support these causes. If you would like to make a donation to support our sickle cell awareness initiatives please click here.