The fight to research, illuminate, and one day eliminate sickle cell disease continues, and one its toughest fighters is receiving much needed help to press on. The Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia is now the recipient of two major grants to assist in operations aimed at the improvement of treatment and quality life for sickle cell patients.
Last month, Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland, announced that it would be issuing grants totaling $250,000 to five nonprofit organizations through its STEP Program. Now in its second year, the Solutions to Empower Patients Program, which funds innovative operations to empower patients with significant unmet needs to navigate a path to better care, has shifted its focus to addressing pressing issues in the sickle cell disease community. With their assistance, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia now plans to host interactive workshops to provide adolescents with tools to successfully transition from pediatric to adult health care.
Just days ago, further support for the efforts of the SCFG materialized in the form of a grant from Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT). As a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to providing hope for underserved patient communities, GBT launched ACCEL (Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients Pilot Program) in February 2019 to address significant challenges that many SCD patients face in accessing quality healthcare in their own communities. Through this program, they have awarded sums of up to $200,000 to the SCFG and four other health organizations in order to accelerate the development of promising programs that have the potential over time to deliver high-quality healthcare to people living with sickle cell disease.
Since 1971, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. has stood as a bastion of hope for victims of Sickle Cell and other abnormal hemoglobin. As a resource for clinical services, health fairs, and informational community events, the foundation thanks its generous supporters, dedicated staff, dynamic board, and caring volunteers for making all of its programs and services possible.
Sickle cell anemia is caused by a mutation in the gene that tells the body to make hemoglobin, the iron-rich compound that gives blood its red color. The sickle cell gene is passed from generation to generation in a pattern of inheritance called autosomal recessive inheritance. This means both parents must pass on the defective form of the gene for a child to be affected.
To learn more about SCD the impact of COVID-19 on SCD patients see Black Health Matters and the video below.