Executive Director Tabatha McGee and Certified Hemoglobinopathy Counselor Jackie George with Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. join the studio to chat about World Sickle Cell Day, Sickle Cell Awareness Month and the critical research and strides made by the foundation. McGee and George join host Carol Morgan on the Around Atlanta segment.
A 501(c)(3) foundation, Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. was founded in 1971 by the late Dr. Nelson McGhee, Jr. and Dr. Delutha H. King, Jr. The foundation’s mission is to engage, educate and energize the surrounding community to provide a good quality of life for people affected by sickle cell disease and its trait.
Sickle cell disease is a chronic, inherited red blood cell disorder passed on from parent to child. A hereditary ailment, sickle cell disease is not contagious contrary to popular belief. However, once a person is identified with the sickle cell trait, it is a lifelong diagnosis. While healthy red blood cells are flexible and round, red blood cells affected by sickle cell disease take on a shape similar to a crescent moon.
The change in shape prevents the red blood cells from traveling through the body properly, causing them to stick to the walls of the blood vessels and prevent proper blood flow. This can lead to detrimental effects on the body, such as strokes, organ damage and chronic pain.
George said, “Worldwide it affects millions of people. In Georgia, it affects about 14,000 individuals with sickle cell disease. In the United States, it is estimated that 100,000 individuals have sickle cell disease.”
Knowing buildings can light up in honor of a cause, the talented communications director at Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. tirelessly worked to band together 10 buildings around Atlanta to luminate in honor of World Sickle Cell Day this past June. A few constructions that participated include Mercedes Benz Stadium, the famous King and Queen buildings in Sandy Springs, Atlanta City Hall, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and more.
McGee said, “This is the first time in record-breaking history that Atlanta has had anything like that in honor of sickle cell [disease].”
On September 1, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. is kicking off Sickle Cell Awareness Month by hosting a Meet the Executive Director event to allow the community to explore and learn about the foundation, its mission and sickle cell disease. On September 8, the foundation will be hosting its annual candlelight vigil to honor those lost to sickle cell disease internationally. Check out the foundation’s website for additional ways to show your support this September.
Tune in to the full interview above to learn more about Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. or visit https://SickleCellGA.org.
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