Stigma and pain for those living with sickle cell disease

Stigma and pain for those living with sickle cell disease
Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency is collaborating with the Mecklenburg Sickle Cell Advisory Board, WSOC-TV, sickle cell advocacy groups, community-based organizations, hospitals, governments and other key stakeholders in the sickle cell community to host the sixth annual Run/Walk for Sickle Cell.
SCD is a global health problem affecting millions of people around the world. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 Americans have the disease and more than 1 million people worldwide have sickle cell trait.
Each year, approximately 1,000 babies in the United States are born with SCD, and there is no universal cure for this life-threatening disease.
In Mecklenburg County, there are approximately, 3,200 people living with sickle cell disease and over 12,000 living with sickle cell trait.
PHSSCA is proud to collaborate with so many community partners to raise awareness about this condition that affects so many living in our community,” Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency Executive Director Kathy Norcott said.  “There continues to be too many myths about sickle cell disease and the people living with the condition.” 
Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has sickle cell disease, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a sickle.
The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
Stigma related to this condition has to stop. While some have been cured from the condition there still is not a universal cure, so there are many who continue to live and suffer from the complications caused by sickle cell disease, Norcott said.
Event details: 
Date: Saturday, Aug. 31
Time: Registration is from 6:30-7:30 a.m.; event begins at 8 a.m.
Location: Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina (corner of South Mint Street between Romare Bearden Park and BB&T Baseball Stadium)
WSOC-TV meteorologist Tony Sadiku will emcee the event.
For more information, please call 704-910-2002.
Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency is a 49-year-old minority health community-based organization whose mission is to provide outreach, education, screening and case management for people with high-risk health problems.
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