Editor: Sickle cell disease affects the health of some 90,000 to 100,000 Americans, most of whom are African Americans. An additional number of African Americans are carriers of the sickle cell trait. This blood disorder affects Hispanics and people of Mediterranean decent as well. On Sept. 21, 1983, then President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring September as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
This year, 34 years later, Tapestry Connections, a sickle cell organization, asked the Liberty County commissioners to sign a proclamation declaring the month of September as Sickle Cell Awareness Month in Liberty County. Thank you Chairman Lovette and commissioners for standing with those who are affected by this debilitating disease which is characterized by pain crisis and other complications.
The proclamation was only the beginning of events planned for our community. The highlight of National sickle Cell Awareness Month was a sickle cell forum. The purpose of the forum was to bring to the community’s attention the need to support, empower and encourage those affected with the disease.
The forum was a huge success. A special thanks to Mrs. Brittany Frasier, family nurse practitioner, for a superb job as facilitator for the forum. Thank you to our panelist, Mrs. Denise Deigh, school nurse at Button Gwinnett School; Mrs. Annie Washington, retired community health nurse; Mr. Pete Stevens, sickle cell warrior; Mrs.Raleighetta Varnedoe, supervisory nutritionist, Wynn Army hospital; state Rep. Al Williams, and Miss Shauni Rawls, Miss Black Georgia 2017, who shared relevant and valuable information to those who attended.
Thanks to all of the community members who attended, you made it great! This event would not have been successful without you. A big round of applause and love to the following individuals and businesses: Panera Bread, Jersey Mike’s Subs, 990.AM, 90.5 FM, 94.9 FM, WTOC News, Ms. Valerie Perry, Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Mrs. Patricia O’Nery, Global Ventures M2820, Inc., Dr. Calin Badea MD, Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, and the Tapestry Board of Directors.
Finally, as a community let’s connect hearts and minds in love and life in the fight against sickle cell disease.
"Alone we can do so little; but together we can do so much." — Helen Keller
Deloris Mitchell, PhD
founder and executive director