Charlotte Kimble, Clarion Herald Guest Column, Teen Faith
Ursuline Academy students recently came together to raise $800 and awareness for those suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. We all wore red shirts (the sickle cell awareness color). In addition to September being National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, we participated in this fundraiser in honor of seventh-grader Evan Bellow, who has Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
“I felt honored to know that I have so much support from my friends and family,” Evan said.
According to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disorders, “Sickle Cell Disease is a grouping of red blood cell disorders and is inherited in the same way people inherit eye, skin or hair color.
This disease affects about 100,000 people in the U.S., mainly African Americans. In treating SCD, the goal is to relieve pain and prevent infections. The only known cure is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, a procedure in which “healthy stem cells from a donor are placed into someone whose bone marrow isn’t working properly, allowing the body to create new, healthy cells.”
However, transplants are incredibly risky and may even be fatal if the bone marrow is not a close enough match. Inspired by Evan, Ursuline has raised money in an effort to find safer treatments. Hopefully, better cures will be discovered for SCD in the near future. Visit nolascaawareness.com.