September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
First officially recognized by the federal government in 1983, National Sickle Cell Awareness Month calls attention to sickle cell disease, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The term sickle cell disease describes a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.
In observance of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month and to increase aware of the disease, a Sickle Cell Awareness Forum will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center, 2140 E. Oglethorpe Hwy., Flemington, according to Dr. Deloris Mitchell.
Mitchell is founder and executive director of Tapestry Connections, Inc.
“Tapestry Connections, Inc. is a sickle cell disease organization. Our motto is: Connecting Hearts and Minds in Love and Life,” Mitchell said.
The forum is to address the multi-faceted aspects of sickle cell disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States, mainly African Americans.
“The disease occurs among about one of every 500 African American births and among about one out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births,” Mitchell said.
“If you, a friend, or a family member has sickle cell disease or a sickle cell trait, please join us for this education and support forum. You are not alone. Come out and receive information about this disease and share your story,” she added.
Several speakers will be available to answer questions and concerns.
“We have a panel of knowledgeable health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, and a dietitian. There will also be someone from the legislature who helped sponsored a bill to include SCD patients to qualify for cannabis oil. Miss Black Georgia, whose platform is sickle cell disease, will also be in attendance,” Mitchell said.
The Sickle Cell Awareness Forum is free. For more information, call Mitchell at 912-977-3280. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.