World Sickle Cell Day is on June 19. Every year, we celebrate this day which is meant to raise international awareness of sickle cell disease and the challenges patients and families face when confronting the disease. At St. Jude, sickle cell is more than a disease that gets the spotlight for one day — it is a continuous effort to save children around the world.
Today, sickle cell disease:
- Is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S., affecting about 100,000 Americans
- Can cause pain, infections, fevers, fatigue, strokes and organ damage, and can lower life expectancy by 20-30 years
- Impacts 1 out of every 13 Black people in the U.S. through the sickle cell trait, with a chance of having a child with the disease if both parents carry the trait
- Affects about 1 out of 365 African-American babies born in the U.S.
- Is most common in African-Americans and Hispanics, but can occur in any group
The first research grant that St. Jude ever received, in 1958, before the hospital was even built, was for the study of sickle cell disease. St. Jude subsequently launched the first comprehensive study of sickle cell disease and its impact on the African-American population.
In more ways than one, St. Jude was a pioneer
Beyond cancer treatment, our focus on sickle cell disease is at the heart of our lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®
Thanks to generous donors like you, St. Jude:
- Has one of the largest sickle cell programs in the country
- Treats more than 900 patients with sickle cell disease annually
- Offers seven different clinical trials for patients, including a CRISPR gene editing trial
- Leads the Sickle Cell Clinical Research and Intervention Program (SCCRIP), which studies how sickle cell disease progresses over time, and how we can improve the quality of life for sickle cell disease patients while we continue to search for cures
- Will invest $1.1 billion over the next six years to expand research and treatment programs to advance cures for childhood diseases such as sickle cell disease
The research institution at St. Jude has been part of major advances in sickle cell disease treatment and continues to explore new cutting-edge curative therapies for the disease. Advances made over the past 40 years have significantly reduced the risk of dying of sickle cell disease in childhood.
St. Jude Inspire shares stories to inspire trust, hope and faith in the mission that drives us. Every St. Jude patient deserves a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment. Your support helps St. Jude give kids with cancer a chance.
St. Jude sickle cell patient Za'Mya and her mom