Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Extends COVID-19 Emergency Fundraiser

David Melamed, PhD avatar

by David Melamed, PhD |

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COVID-19 fundraiser

The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) has announced the extension of its ongoing COVID-19 Emergency Fund Campaign to meet the needs of people with sickle cell disease (SCD) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial goal of the fundraiser was to raise $100,000 in 10 days. Recently, Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) pledged $250,000 to help SCD patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, with $100,000 of that pledge going directly to the SCDAA’s Emergency Fund.

While the donation ensured that the SCDAA’s $100,000 goal was met, the organization has identified a growing need for resources within the SCD community due to COVID-19, and has decided to extend the fundraiser.

COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which is considered highly contagious and primarily infects the respiratory system. Due to its worldwide spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak as a pandemic.

Though it is estimated that nearly 80% of those infected will have mild-to-moderate disease, COVID-19 may cause severe symptoms leading to respiratory failure in some patients.

SCD patients may be at an increased risk of experiencing severe complications because patients are frequently immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) and are susceptible to infections

Also, agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending that anyone with a chronic illness, including SCD, should stockpile medication for at least a few weeks, due to the uncertainty of the situation and the disruption to daily life.

“We are in uncharted waters with COVID-19, which is creating growing challenges for our sickle cell community. This is a time when our advocacy is most needed,” said Beverley Francis-Gibson, president of the SCDAA, in a press release. “We must work together to support those most impacted in our communities.”

SCDAA is the largest organization in America supporting SCD patients. Its extensive network of member organizations provides direct aid to patients with SCD, and assists with healthcare, food, housing, and childcare.

Any organization that supports the SCD community is potentially eligible to receive funding from the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The SCDAA will be allocating the funding to nonprofits as needed, on a rolling basis.

“We are continuing to assess where assistance may be needed, accept donations, and provide the critical funding needed,” said Francis-Gibson, “which is why we have decided to extend our fundraising campaign.”

So far, the SCDAA has raised more than $122,000 for the cause.