I am sure that we all have causes that are near and dear to our heart such as cancer, lupus, heart disease and other illness. Sickle Cell Disease is an illness that is near and dear to my heart. For those who do not know September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. This is the month where we can prayerfully increase the knowledge of those around us about this devastating illness.
Sickle Cell Disease was first described in Chicago just over 100 years ago. The first person diagnosed with the illness was a dental student from Grenada who had come to Chicago to study at the school of Dentistry in Chicago. Sickle Cell Disease affect many ethnicities, as a matter of fact more people with Sickle Cell Disease live in India than anywhere else in the world. What this means is that Sickle Cell Anemia is not just an illness that affects African Americans.
Sickle Cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that is passed from the parent to their children. It cannot be contracted any other way. Sickle Cell disease affects almost all of the major organs in the body. Many people living with Sickle Cell Disease have had complications that have affected their limb, their lung, their heat and many other body parts. There are also many people who live with the disease that are relatively healthy. This does not mean that they should not have regular care from their physicians. Blood transfusions are also common for many patients with Sickle Cell Anemia.
The effects of Sickle Cell Disease can be devastating. Unfortunately many patients with Sickle Cell Disease were told that they would not live beyond the age of 18. The reality of the situation is that most of them have survived well beyond the age of 18 and have become seniors. There are some who have succumbed to the complications of the disease at young ages but people with Sickle Cell Anemia are living longer healthier lives.
There are many things you can do to promote Sickle Cell Awareness. You can do some research and correct the myths that exist about the illness. You can donate blood. You can donate you time, your talents or your money. Many people work with children with Sickle Cell Disease. There is room for more volunteer and definitely room for more funding. Awareness should also not just be limited to September.