The North Carolina Sickle Cell Syndrome Program within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services celebrates its 50th anniversary with an event Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the NC Museum of Art – West Building, 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.
Sickle cell disease primarily affects those of African descent. It leads to anemia, pain crisis, strokes and other problems. The mission of the NC Sickle Cell Syndrome Program is to promote the health and well-being of people with sickle cell disease through the reduction of morbidity and mortality and the heightened awareness of the disease and its complications. The program provides comprehensive services to people and their families affected by sickle cell disease and other hemoglobin disorders and offers genetic counseling and education to the general public.
"The biggest difference between today and 50 years ago from a patient perspective is hope and brighter futures," said NCDHHS Section Chief for Women, Infant and Community Wellness Belinda Pettiford. "Through the implementation of a systematic, statewide approach to service delivery, the program provides infants, children, adolescents and adults affected by sickle cell disease with newborn screening follow up, care coordination, referrals to clinical and related services, and sickle cell educational materials and information."
During the 50th anniversary celebration, people will be honored who significantly contributed to raising sickle cell awareness through the establishment of programs and services for those with sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait and related hemoglobinopathies. People living with sickle cell disease, including children and adults, will receive recognition for outstanding academic achievement and service to their communities. Awards will be given to staff for decades of service to individuals, families and the community.
The emcee of the event will be ABC11 anchor and reporter Tamara Scott. Media are invited to attend the event. If you are interested in covering, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen. 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 SCD, 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. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. They also get stuck and clog the blood flow when they travel through small blood vessels. This can cause pain and other serious health complications such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke. Here are 5 facts to know about Sickle Cell Disease.