‘Sideline Sickle Cell’ Campaign Heads to Detroit to Raise Awareness about the Disease

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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A community town hall is set for Detroit to raise awareness about sickle cell disease, with a discussion about current and future therapies, as part of the Sideline Sickle Cell campaign by Emmaus Life Sciences, together with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Michigan Chapter.

The event, open to all those interested in sickle cell disease, is scheduled for Sept. 28, from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, at the Wayne State University Student Center, Conference Room 10.

Attendees at the two-hour town hall will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with sickle cell disease, and to learn more about treatment options.

Leading the discussion are Ahmar Zaidi, MD, an hematologist-oncologist at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and Michael Callaghan, MD, hematologist-oncologist and director of CHM’s Sickle Cell Center. Emmy Award-winning National Football League (NFL) broadcaster and campaign spokesperson Solomon Wilcots will also be present, joined by fellow NFL veteran player Jocelyn Borgella of the Detroit Lions.

The Sideline Sickle Cell educational campaign — a joint initiative between Wilcots and Emmaus — targets the sickle cell disease community, with particular focus on physicians, patients, and caregivers. Wilcots, an internationally known NFL broadcast analyst who played for six seasons in the professional league, became involved in the campaign after witnessing the effects of the disease on his friends, family, and teammates.

Emmaus is the developer of L-glutamine oral powder (called Endari in the U.S. and Xyndari in Europe), an approved treatment for sickle cell disease in patients 5 or older. The first approved sickle cell treatment in about 20 years, Endari is used to manage acute disease complications.

Earlier this year, Emmaus launched a financial assistance program in the U.S. to cover the monthly costs of Endari for sickle cell disease patients.

The Sideline Sickle Cell campaign participated in the 6th Annual Sickle Cell Disease Patient & Family Educational Symposium, which took place July 2019 in Plano, Texas.