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  1. Join the Ques in Raising Money for the Annual St. Jude Game Day. Give Back.

    January 25, 2016 by Andrea

    We all know about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's pediatric cancer program, but did you know that St. Jude also boasts one of the nation's largest sickle cell programs, too? According to its website, St. Jude has been researching SCD since the hospital's inception back in 1962 and continues to treat sickle cell warriors from birth to 18 years of age.

    No child is ever turned away because of a family's limited finances, race, or religion and no family ever receives a bill from the hospital. However, running St. Jude daily takes $2 million and about 75% of that money comes from donations. What's more, St. Jude makes contributing easy and fun. In fact, you can even turn your upcoming Superbowl party into a fundraising opportunity by joining the Omega Psi Phi frat in their second year as national volunteer partner with St. Jude for the annual St. Jude Game Day. Give Back. Here's how:

    1. Sign up to host a party.
    2. Create a personal fundraising page and share on social media.
    3. Invite friends and family to join.
    4. Earn prizes for fundraising milestones!

    Easy? Check. Fun? Check.

    Will you -- or have you ever -- hosted a St. Jude Game Day. Give Back. party? Tell us about it in the comments below!

    h/t HuffPost Impact


  2. Another Sickle Cell Media Win: Dr. Phil Addresses SCD on His Show

    January 18, 2016 by Andrea
    Photo: YouTube/Screenshot

    Photo: YouTube/Screenshot


    We still have a long way to go, but in the past few months, some mainstream media has begun to recognize the existence and the importance of educating people about sickle cell. We brought you news of those first primetime airings right after their debuts back in October. And thanks to @Sickle_Life, we're bringing your attention to another discussion of SCD that aired in December on the Dr. Phil show.

    In the segment, which you can watch below, Dr. Phil talks with Heather, who was diagnosed with sickle cell while she was still in utero. She gives a very detailed account of what it's like living with SCD and describes the pain she goes through sometimes as being "a 10 out of 10." She says, "It feels like someone is ripping off a limb and pouring glass into your veins and expecting you to keep living normally."

    This video is the perfect tool to use when helping others understand and empathize more with the truth about what sickle cell warriors live with. Watch it below and share with others.


  3. These Kits May Revolutionize the Way People Learn About Sickle Cell Disease

    January 11, 2016 by Andrea

    STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education is a growing focus in schools, as society realizes how important it is in helping future generations prep to enter a competitive working world with an understanding of each STEM discipline. Understanding, after all, can lead to innovations and advancements. One company, MyStemKits, has developed various sets of manipulatives to help students engage more fully in their STEM studies -- and one of those kits specifically addresses sickle cell. Instead of simply reading about sickle cell and looking at pictures, students are able to touch, assemble, rearrange, etc. to gain better insight into how genetic mutations occur and what can happen because of them. 

    Think this might be something you'd like to have for your school, lab, enrichment program, or community outreach event? All you'll need is a 3D printer and Internet access. Rather than having to order expensive sets, you can simply visit MyStemKits's cloud-based library, choose the SCD kit, print it, and watch as the objects in the kit are created right in front of your eyes! In addition to the kits themselves, MyStemKits also provides lesson plants that are aligned to teaching standards.

    For more information, check out MyStemKits website and watch their Kickstarter video below:

  4. Mentorship: Another Way to Support Sickle Cell Warriors in Your Community

    January 4, 2016 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    With MLK National Day of Service just two weeks away, now is the perfect time to start thinking about ways to give back to the sickle cell community this month and throughout the year. One way, is to take part in National Blood Donor Month, but if you're wary of needles or just don't fit the requirements to give blood, you'll be glad to know that January is also National Mentoring Month.

    If you're a college student living in or near a major city like Boston, Chicago, NYC, or Washington, DC, consider becoming a mentor to teens with sickle cell by joining Next Step. Through this group, you'd be able to directly connect one-on-one with your mentee and be a support to them. Options for adult mentors are also available via other organizations, such as virtual mentor programs like this one run by The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee. Although this particular program is specifically seeking adult mentors who live with SCD themselves, even if you aren't a warrior personally, you could think about starting a similar program of virtual mentorship in your own community.

    Searching for even more ways to serve #SickleCellNation? Head to volunteermatch.org, choose your location, and then, type "sickle cell" into the search bar. Whether you decide to join an established company or do your own thing altogether this month, don't forget to register your plans with MLK Day of Service, so you can share your goals and find others who are interested in joining you.
    What are your plans for giving back this month? Tell us in the comments below!

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