St. Jude sickle cell patients Kaitlyn and Khirsten in 2018
In September, we recognize Sickle Cell Awareness Month, 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
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 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 an estimated 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 patients
- 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
I tell people I thank God, and I thank St. Jude second-most for, really, all aspects of Courtney's life.
Audrey, sickle cell patient Courtney'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.
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