It is very hard to believe that Sickle Cell was discovered just a little over a hundred years ago in 1910. It is a serious blood disorder and yet there is little public knowledge of what Sickle Cell is and many misconceptions about it among the general public. Little has changed in those hundred years! It is common belief that it is race specific, of course, as we know today people of all races suffer from this disease. Currently, it is projected that roughly 70,000 Americans have Sickle Cell. But you find different statistics on different websites. I believe the number is grossly underreported.
There is a stigma and shame associated with Sickle Cell and it is time to break the silence. Time to raise awareness of how this disease manifests itself, its complications and the horrible suffering that comes with having a crisis.
If you are asking yourself right now “what can I do to spread the knowledge?” the answer is simple. Just start talking to people. Through public and medical education and spreading the word, we will find people that are interested in helping our cause. If enough of us realize that there needs to be more research done, then we can start creating fundraisers to collect the money necessary to fund the research. If we make it our mission to educate, then step by step we can slowly accelerate the process. We can’t let another hundred years, or even twenty years – go by without an all out attempt to educate. Change must happen and it’s up to us to change lives and make it happen!