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4 Ways to Prepare for Sickle Cell Awareness Month

August 29, 2016 by Andrea
Photo: stocksnap.io

Photo: stocksnap.io

It's about that time again: September, just two days from now, is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. While we, along with a host of others, are committed to raising awareness 365 days of the year, Sickle Cell Awareness Month is a much-needed opportunity to heighten awareness among the general public and raise funds for ongoing research.

Get involved this month -- and beyond -- with these ideas:

Make an effort to seek out information and resources relating to sickle cell. You can start here, with Xickle's blog. Other options include, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), the CDC, and the American Sickle Cell Anemia Association (ASCAA).

If you're able, contribute money to official programs that fund research initiatives in the study of SCD. In the United States, you can donate to the SCDAA, the ASCAA, the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, among others. In the U.K., the Sickle Cell Society is one organization that accepts donations. Check for the appropriate place to send donations where you live. Money isn't the only thing you can donate. Time and blood are also very necessary. Volunteer with local sickle cell outreach projects; or, give blood at the American Red Cross -- and be sure to designate your donation to a sickle cell warrior.

Once you've increased your own knowledge about sickle cell, don't keep it all to yourself. Share it with family and friends, post links to educational articles on social media, or partner with local churches, schools, and businesses to hold seminars and teach others in your community.

If you're a sickle cell warrior yourself, you'll be able to help another learn coping skills and generally be an excellent support system. Since you'll understand what your mentee is going through, you can share stories of your own journey and how you've made it this far. Even if you don't have sickle cell, you can still mentor someone. If your mentee is a warrior, consider helping him or her plan for the future -- give assistance on college and scholarship applications, help with homework, or just take him or her on fun outings. Or, advise your mentee (warrior or not) on the various ways they can get involved in community advocacy.

Got any more ideas on raising awareness in September? Share them in the comments below!

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