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Local organization hosts sickle cell conference

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The Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative is hosting a conference, on April 14, to educate people on the serious, often debilitating, red blood cell disorder.

This event is at the Northside Event Center, 2100 East 71st Street, from 8:30-3 p.m.
During this conference, attendees will receive information from healthcare providers about sickle cell treatment protocols and how it can improve the health of young people living with sickle cell disease.

The disease affects more than 100,000 Americans and occurs in one out of every 365 Black births.

The Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative’s mission is to aid and enhance the lives of those affected by sickle cell and associated disorders by providing client services, patient and family advocacy and education.

The Martin Center provides services to individuals who have sickle cell disease, including physician, housing, social service and government assistance referrals. The organization also has a food pantry and transportation assistance for their clients.

The organization conducts monthly support group meetings where attendees can connect with people in the community who can relate to their experiences having the disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen.

In someone who has sickle cell disease, the hemoglobin is abnormal, which causes the red blood cells to become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.”

Contact staff writer Timoria Cunningham at 317-762-7854 or email timoriac@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @_timoriac.

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