Sickle Cell Awareness Month Events Underway Across US

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by Mary Chapman |

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September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, set aside annually to bring attention to the blood disorder and the needs of the community.

From securing local government proclamations and hosting awareness events, to distributing information and lighting public spaces red, supporters have begun observing the monthlong event.

The theme of this year’s Awareness Month, organized annually by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), is Sickle Cell Matters.

The SCDAA is hosting a Twitter Party the week of Sept. 21 to share, learn, and celebrate community victories. When posting, participants are asked to use the hashtag #SickleCellMatters. Go here for more information, and here to register.

In addition, the organization is urging advocates to make an appointment to give blood by visiting or calling 1-800-733-2767.

Supporters are also asked to take time during the month and register for the SCDAA Annual National Convention, held virtually on Oct. 13–17.

The SCDAA is also encouraging participation in the dozens of events and activities planned for September by SCD organizations throughout the nation. Those events include a Zoom conversation with “Women in the Sickle Cell Community” on Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. ET, presented in part by the Sickle Cell Project of NW Ohio.

On Sept. 10, the South Central PA Sickle Cell Council will host a “Sickle Cell Matters” webcast on Facebook Live, and on Sept. 19, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Michigan chapter will present a “Sickle Cell Matters Virtual Walk.” On Sept. 24–25, the Foundation for Women & Girls with Blood Disorders will hold its inaugural educational conference for healthcare providers.

Visit this site for a listing of more events and activities.

A downloadable event flyer and SCD Myths and Fact Sheet are available for sharing on social media.

Meanwhile, Howard University‘s (HU) 48-year-old research Center for Sickle Cell Disease is asking community supporters to join its annual Cure Sickle Cell Now Move-On event. This year’s virtual production, which will take place throughout September on Facebook Live, will feature an HU Athletics Dance Challenge. The closing ceremony will be held through Zoom on Sept. 30.

The event calls for participants to do activities on their own, then join the Center for live sessions of Zumba, muscle strengthening, yoga, and more. Throughout the month, a disc jockey will play various types of music that participants can walk, run, or dance to. Visit this site to register.

“We are so EXCITED to be with you in this way,” James G. Taylor VI, MD, director of the Center for Sickle Cell Disease, said in a press release. “The goal of the Sickle Cell event is to get participants moving. It’s a way for people in the community to demonstrate solidarity and support for those with sickle cell disease and their families, and to increase awareness in the community.”

Winners of the HU Athletics Dance Challenge can earn up to $300, and a pair of athletic shoes from Brooklyn Nets‘ forward Kevin Durant. Participants are asked to take a photo or short video of themselves dancing, wearing a Cure Sickle Cell Now T-shirt and post it on the Cure Sickle Cell Now Move-On Facebook page.