Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disease that can cause a person to have sickle shaped cells circulating throughout their blood stream. These cells can get clogged in blood vessels causing blocked oxygen and blood flow throughout the body.
Because of this, a person my experience health issues as well as other disorders such as bone pain, strokes, blood infection or need a blood transfusion.
In Indiana, over 1,100 people have sickle cell disease and more than 32 babies are born each year with a hemoglobin disease. Anyone can get sickle cell disease, however African-Americans or those of Mediterranean descent are most susceptible.
Coping with sickle cell disease ranges from a bone marrow transplant to management and treatment to death.
To raise awareness about sickle cell disease in Indiana, the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, Inc. is hosting the Sickle Cell-Abration on Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Madame Walker Theatre, 617 Indiana Ave.
This event is free and features entertainment from Downstroke, Krash Krew and B the Messenger among others.
“We also want to raise awareness because we need more African-American blood donations. Approximately .5 percent of donors are (Black) but the population of sickle cell disease is primarily (Black). Those blood transfusions can sometimes save lives,” said Kisha Braswell, program coordinator of the Sickle Safe Newborn Screening program for the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, Inc.
For more information about sickle cell disease or Sickle Cell-Abration, call the Martin Center at (317) 927-5158 or visit themartincenter.org; Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center at (317) 871-0000 or visit ihtc.org.