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Recognize World Sickle Cell Day

For more than 50 years, St. Jude has been committed to understanding and treating sickle cell disease.

St. Jude patient Za'Mya with her mom.

St. Jude sickle cell patient Za'Mya with her mom


St. Jude sickle cell patients Kaitlyn and Khirsten


When is World Sickle Cell Day and what is it?

Every June 19, we recognize World Sickle Cell 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 12 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 all races
St. Jude sickle cell patient Za'Mya with her mom.

I want her to do everything and more – despite sickle cell.

Nytasha, sickle cell patient Za'Mya's mom


The first research grant that St. Jude ever received, in 1958, before the hospital was even built, was for the study of sickle cell diseaseSt. 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:

St. Jude sickle cell patient Elani with her mom.

When we arrived at St. Jude, it was like our world opened up.

Darnita, sickle cell patient Elani's mom


The research institution at St. Jude has been part of almost every major advancement in sickle cell disease treatment to date. Advances made over the past 20 years have raised the life expectancy for a sickle cell patient from mid-20s to mid-40s.


Other ways you can help during World Sickle Cell Day

St. Jude sickle cell patient Elechi.

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St. Jude sickle cell patient Jameson with his mom.

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