Senators Scott, Booker, Brown, and Isakson announce bipartisan resolution to advocate for Sickle Cell Awareness

WASHINGTON, DC – In an initiative to educate communities across the country on sickle cell disease, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announce the passage of their resolution to designate September 2016 as “Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.”

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), an inherited disease disorder that causes major health problems, directly affects 100,000 people nationwide. Individuals diagnosed with SCD may experience serious medical complications ranging from anemia, restricted blood flow, strokes and even death. While hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is currently the only known cure and advancements have been made in treating complications, more can be done to help patients and their families.

“My hope is that by highlighting the severity of this disease we can get more people focused on finding more widely available cures,” said Scott. “The numbers are heartbreaking. This disease affects 1 in 365 newborn African American infants, and the only thing parents can cling to is the hope that one day their children may be able to live a pain-free life. Hopefully our efforts will help to bring Sickle Cell awareness to the forefront of medical research, and we will continue to see more developments in the near future.”

“An estimated 100,000 Americans, the vast majority of whom are African-American, are battling thedevastating effects ofSickle Cell Disease,” said Booker. “By congressionally recognizing the month of September ‘Sickle Cell Awareness Month,’ it will draw greater awareness to the need for more research and investment into curing this debilitating disease.”

“Sickle cell is a painful, lifelong and life-shortening illness that disproportionately affects the African American community and does not get the attention it deserves,” said Brown. “While we are seeing children with sickle cell live to see more birthdays than ever before, this rare disease still causes too much pain and cuts too many patients’ lives short. By raising awareness around this disease we can help enhance screening for the trait, encourage additional research investment, and improve treatment options and increase support for patients who are diagnosed with sickle cell.”

“Sickle celldisease is a terribleaffliction for so manyinGeorgia, which has one ofthe highest sickle cell populations in the country,”said Isakson. “Children’s Health Care of Atlanta treats more than 1,800children withpediatric sickle cell.Itis my hope thatraising awareness for thediseasewillhelpencourage more testing for at-riskadults and children andmove research forward on finding acure.”

One in 13 African Americans are carriers of the Sickle Cell trait, and a child whose parents are both carriers have a 25 percent chance of being diagnosed with SCD.

The senators hope this resolution will continue to amplify the seriousness of SCD while pushing for people across the country to highlight the urgency of finding a widely accessible cure, identifying early detection methods, and ensuring those with SCD are aware of available resources.