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  1. World Sickle Cell Day 2018 Awareness Campaigns You Can Start Now

    June 6, 2018 by Andrea

    world sickle cell day 2018

    June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day, but you don't have to wait until then to show your support and help raise awareness. Here are a few examples of what others are already doing leading up to World Sickle Cell Day 2018 to inspire you. 

    1. SHARE CREATIVE FUNDRAISING IDEAS
    It's a good idea to stick to one major fundraiser each year, but you can host mini ones once per quarter, so as not to wear out the donors you seek. Just in time for the approach of World Sickle Cell Day 2018, the Sickle Cell Society recently shared this Fundraising A-Z chart developed by LocalGiving.

     

    2. INVOLVE THE KIDS
    Kids are naturally curious and inventive, so use that as you begin teaching children who may not know what SCD is. Then, ask them to come up with fun ways to help spread the word and get their friends in on the action, too. A group of seventh graders recently came up with the idea to wear red tape. 

     

    3. JOIN THE COLOR CAMPAIGN
    Some have begun a campaign to encourage people to wear red and black for the entire month of June, rather than just one day, to help raise awareness of sickle cell. Join them by wearing your red and black, sharing your selfies, and urging others to do the same. 


  2. World Sickle Cell Day and Beyond: Creative Ways to Raise Awareness

    June 19, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    Photo: CreateHER Stock



    World Sickle Cell Day (and also Juneteenth) is here again, and like every year, people come up with various ways of celebrating and raising awareness. Some wear red, some host workshops, and most get active on social media -- sharing how they've chosen to observe the day. See below for a few of our favorite out-of-the-box ideas:

    A Sweet Salute
    They say the way to a person's heart is through their stomach. That's why some warriors and supporters have chosen to educate their communities via baked goodies like these. Like this idea? Check out other options here and here.



    Sickle Cell Series
    As a journalist and filmmaker, Wana Udobang helps raise awareness through the stories she tells. For World Sickle Cell Day, she's created a series called "Warriors," which features four video interviews of people living with SCD. Watch the first video below.



    Inspiring Images
    Across the pond in London at the University College Hospital MacMillan Cancer Centre, "Seeing Red" -- an exhibition of photos taken by sickle cell warriors -- debuts today. According to UCLH, the photography is the culmination of the work the warriors did during narrative therapy pilot workshops.



    Have you seen any other creative ways to spread the word about sickle cell? Share them in the comments below!


  3. “Still Standing” Documentary and its World Sickle Cell Day Premiere

    June 22, 2016 by Andrea
    Photo: Twitter

    Photo: Twitter



    You may remember that during Black History Month, we wrote a post recognizing a few people who've dedicated their lives to raising awareness for sickle cell disease. One of those people was Toyin Adesola, a native Nigerian and sickle cell warrior. At the time of that first post, her 2005 autobiography, "Still Standing" was being made into a film. And yesterday, appropriately World Sickle Cell Day, the documentary premiered both online and offline.

    An International Christian Film Festival nominee for Best Director, Most Creative, and Official Selection in the documentary category, as well as an Impact Awards Doc U.S. and International Film Festival, Indonesia winner, "Still Standing" tells of the struggles and accomplishments of Toyin, who was diagnosed with SCD when she was 6 years old. "Growing up, I had the regular pains. And those pains are not something you'd wish on your enemy. Sometimes, even morphine does not even hold that pain down," Toyin explains in the doc.

    She shares that she dealt with depression and fear growing up, as well, but also says that she saw herself doing so much more than simply existing, surviving. She knew she wanted to make a difference and credits going back to school and renewing her faith as major turning points in her life. "I'm driven by God ... my faith in God, and that's why I'm still here. Secondly, just the passion to be able to do things, to achieve things. To know that, yes ... I've been able to give my all," she says in the film.

    Watch the full documentary here (it's only 14 minutes and 30 seconds), and let Toyin tell you her story of strength and perseverance.


  4. How People Plan to Celebrate World Sickle Cell Day Around the World

    June 14, 2016 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    Photo: CreateHer Stock



    World Sickle Cell Day is Sunday, just six days away. Here are just a few examples of how warriors all over the world are planning to celebrate and raise awareness:

    NIGERIA
    Presented by the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation, several events will be held in various parts of the country. Examples of these events include free genotype testing and genetic counseling, visits to sickle cell warriors in hospitals, awareness walks, art exhibit, and more. Plus, there will be a companion social media campaign, so that others outside of Nigeria can also participate.

    UNITED STATES
    While there will be hundreds of events across the 50 states, we'll be highlighting one in Michigan for this post. Hosted by the Michigan Chapter of the SCDAA, "High 5 for Sickle Cell" will be a campaign focused on educating people about five facts and myths related to sickle cell disease. As the Michigan Chronical reports, the five items to be addressed are as follows: pain, lifespan, trait, treatment, and race.

    CANADA
    This year, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada is taking action by setting up blood drives throughout the country. Click here to learn how to register yourself (along with your family and friends!) and find a clinic near you.

    UK
    It's all about a day of family fun to raise awareness for SCD in Wolverhampton. This third annual World Sickle Cell Day event, held at Hickman Park in Bilston, will include a host of games, refreshments, live music, raffle prizes, and more!

    What events are going on near you? Leave the info in teh comments below for others to see and join!


  5. 4 Campaigns You Should Join For World Sickle Cell Day

    June 15, 2015 by Andrea
    Photos: Twitter

    Photos: Twitter



    World Sickle Cell Day is Friday (June 19), and as you know, this day is extremely important to the sickle cell community -- warriors, family, and other supporters -- because it gives us an official chance to bring awareness to this disease globally. Educating the entire world may seem like a daunting task, but when you join with others who have the same cause, you can really make a difference. That's why we're bringing you a round-up of four virtual campaigns to join this year. Put all of your efforts toward one or split your campaigning among all of them! 

    1) #KnowYourGenotype
    The movement behind this hashtag is that everyone should have their blood tested before marriage and/or before having children, so partners can be aware of each other's sickle cell status (or lack thereof). This can help prevent more sickle cell births, thus working toward an eventual future of SCD eradication. To join, simply post your sickle cell status and/or your SS type to Twitter and tag #KnowYourGenotype.

    2) #BoldLipsForSickleCell
    Like ALS's ice bucket challenge, SCD's #BoldLipsForSickleCell campaign can easily go viral -- but to make it do so, we've got to show support and get our friends and family to, as well. Joining this crusade is simple -- and fun! All you have to do is take a selfie of you (or of you and your friends) rockin' a bold lip color, upload your selfie to social media, and tag it #BoldLipsForSickleCell.

    3) #SpeakOnSickleCellObama 
    Let POTUS know how important it is that he speak out on SCD in support of World Sickle Cell Day by tweeting and retweeting #SpeakOnSickleCellObama. Doing so several times a day -- especially on June 19 -- will flood his mentions with a powerful message he surely cannot ignore.

    4) #SleevesUp 
    The American Red Cross makes it easy to start your own virtual #SleevesUp campaign -- or to join one that already exists. Just visit this website, create your campaign, and invite your friends/family/social media community to pledge their support by promising to donate blood to sickle cell warriors. 

    Which of these campaigns are you planning to join? We'd love to see how you help spread awareness this World Sickle Cell Day. When you tag your campaign, also tag @XickleRBC so we can highlight your efforts, as well! 


  6. Your World Sickle Cell Day Bucket List

    May 26, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: Flickr/scooterdmu via CC BY 2.0

    Photo: Flickr/scooterdmu via CC BY 2.0

     

    Juneteenth isn't the only thing we have to celebrate each year on June 19 -- it's also World Sickle Cell Day. Honoring this date, which commemorates the day back in 2008 on which the United Nations officially declared sickle cell disease as a public health concern, comes in many forms. Some people participate in awareness walks, some people take to social media, and others sell goods to raise funds for more research. While thinking about the many different ways people all over the world can observe World Sickle Cell Day this year, we came across this post by Sickle Cell 101, which provides some amazing ideas that are easy to get involved in. Check out some of our favorites below and then be sure to visit the full post for even more inspiration. 

    --Change your username on your social media accounts (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to “(Your name) fights Sickle Cell”. An example of a username on Instagram would be @cass_fights_sicklecell. If do not have Sickle Cell but would like to help raise awareness, you can substitute and think of a creative name so people can learn about Sickle Cell.

    --Make and post a video explaining what Sickle Cell is and how it affects you. Post this video of Sickle Cell on your Instagram account, Facebook page, YouTube etc,

    --Repost Sickle Cell facts you find on the internet or on social media platforms. If you have trouble finding Sickle Cell facts, check out Sickle Cell 101’s Facebook page and/or their Instagram account (@SickleCell101)

    --Wear your Sickle Cell gear wherever you go… To the store, to work, to school, anywhere! There is no better time to wear your Sickle Cell accessories and clothes.(Click here to get your Sickle Cell awareness jewelry.)

    --Get a group of your friends together and educate your friends about the disease. Many of them probably already know the basics and what you’ve told them, but allow a Q&A session after presenting your information. Allow them to ask any questions they want to better understand the disease.

    We love how simple, yet meaningful, each of these ideas is. Also, since sickle cell affects 1 out of every 500 African Americans, having a combination celebration of Juneteenth and World Sickle Cell Day would be perfect! At your cookout or parade, rock your sickle cell awareness shirts, decorate with sickle cell awareness balloons, screen a sickle cell movie or documentary, collect donations from family and friends at your celebration, and have an open dialogue while everyone is in the same place. 

    How do you plan to recognize World Sickle Cell Day this year?

     


  7. How to Celebrate World Sickle Cell Day 2014

    June 5, 2014 by Andrea

    worldsicklecellday

    Since 2008, when the United Nations gathered together at their General Assembly and officially declared sickle-cell disease a public health issue, World Sickle Cell Day has been celebrated annually around the globe on June 19. 

    Besides checking your local events scene to discover what activities are going on in your community, you can also take to social media and get in on the campaign to spread awareness. Sickle the Cycle has launched the "Paint the Internet Red Campaign: Show Your Strength" specifically for this year's World Sickle Cell Day, and it's super simple to join in and do at least one of the following things: 

    1) Write a blog post. You don't have to be a writer by trade to be able to reach people with your words and experiences. Publish a post about you or your family's personal struggles and successes with sickle cell or share facts about the disease to help raise awareness. You can even opt to post encouraging, inspirational quotes in picture form. Don't have a blog? It's easy to make one -- even for free! Visit WordPress, Typepad, Blogger or other platform to discover which one is best for you.

    2) Post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and/or Instagram.
    If the concept of blogging seems like too much pressure, keep your message short by posting on one of these platforms. Post facts about the disease, repost links to relevent blogs and websites that share information about SCD, or share photos of other sickle cell warriors to build morale and support. 

    3) Start a Booster.com campaign. Raise awareness year-round by creating custom T-shirts for your cause. You can choose to upload your own design to the site, or you can use the artwork and font options that Booster.com provides right on its platform. It's easy to do: Simply choose the type of shirt you'd like, design the shirt to support sickle cell awareness, set your price, decide on the length of your campaign, and you're done. Bonus: Running your fundraiser is free! To make sure your booster is a success, spread the word on social media to get people to buy and/or donate money.


    How will you be celebrating World Sickle Cell Day this year? Comment below! 

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  8. World Cord Blood Day Seeks to Raise Awareness for Sickle Cell and Other Life-Threatening Diseases

    April 10, 2017 by Andrea

    cord blood post

    A new awareness event that will benefit sickle cell disease, among others, is set for November 15, 2017. This event, the first-annual World Cord Blood Day, seeks to educate the public about how stem cells taken from blood in the umbilical cord is a non-controversial method of retrieving and using stem cells to treat dozens of diseases, including SCD.

    According to a recent press release from Save the Cord Foundation, the event's organizers, more than 35,000 cord blood transplants have been done all over the world since 1988 and have treated 80-plus life-threatening diseases -- sickle cell being one of them. Research relating to stem cell transplants of this kind show that the transplants work best when the cells come from a relative (although research relating to donor stem cells is pushing along and has worked in some cases). The thing is, saving cord blood is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as it must be done at the time of birth. World Cord Blood Day will help make people aware of how important it can be to save and bank this resource. 

    "We are truly excited about this opportunity to expand cord blood education worldwide while providing a platform for discussion focused exclusively on this valuable medical resource," Charis Ober, Executive Director of Save the Cord Foundation, said in the press release.

    So far, partners for this premier event include the Cord Blood Association, Be the Match, the World Marrow Donor Association, the American Association of Blood Banks, and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. Participation in the very first World Cord Blood Day is easy: You can sign up to learn about events near you, attend the free virtual conference, and/or join in the discussion on social media using the hashtag #WCBD17.

    Another movement to help raise awareness about sickle cell treatment and other diseases? That's a definite win.


  9. There’s Finally a Podcast Dedicated to Sickle Cell

    June 26, 2018 by Andrea



    Two years ago, we discussed the lack of podcasts centered on sickle cell disease and wrote about how launching your very own is a great way to raise awareness of SCD all year long. A couple years later, and there's still a void on the this subject in this space. But, as of this past World Sickle Cell Day, one group set out to help change that. 

    Sickle Cell 101, a nonprofit organization that focuses on sickle cell education through social media, launched their podcast on June 19, 2018. Hosted by Cass and Stephen -- a sickle cell warrior and founder of Sickle Cell 101 and a pharmacist and sickle cell trait carrier, respectively -- the inaugural episode covers the current state of sickle cell across the globe and touches on topics, such as what sickle cell is and how it is inherited, how sickle cell warriors can best take care of themselves, the stigma associated with warriors and pain medications, the misconception some have that sickle cell is witchcraft, and more. 

    As an organization, Sickle Cell 101 also gives out annual Sickle Cell Advocates of the Year awards and hosts an HBCU sickle cell college tour. We're not sure how often new episodes of their podcast will air, but be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram for updates.


  10. How to Raise Sickle Cell Awareness 365 by Starting a Book Club

    June 18, 2018 by Andrea

    book club

    Tomorrow is World Sickle Cell Day, but the only way to truly make an impact on SCD awareness is to make the efforts ongoing. We've shared a lot of ideas over the past few years about how to do just that, and in celebration of WSCD 2018, we're comin' at you with another one: Start your own book club. 

    But not just any book club. Fill your reading list with sickle cell-related fiction and nonfiction and your membership roster with warriors and non warriors. We've even compiled a few selection options to get you started. Once you've settled on those preliminaries, it's time to solicit input from founding members to decide how many people you'd like to have in your club and how often you all should meet. Will you gather monthly? Quarterly? Bi-monthly? Who will host each meeting and where? Will you rotate members' houses or meet in a public place? How will you determine what books to read next? 

    To kick things off, the book club's founder can select the first book; or, they can send a survey with a narrowed down list of choices to current members, and read the winning pick. Then, when it's time for the first meeting, that session's host/hostess can lead the group through spirited discussion, keeping the following topics in mind: 

    1) Overall thoughts on the book
    2) How effective the book was conveying its message
    3) Whether anyone learned anything new
    4) Themes/motifs, etc. 

    Picking up a book club journal will help with discussion, as well as provide a fun record of all the books you and your group read, making it easy for everyone to share recommendations with friends and family. 

    For more information about book clubs, check out the website for National Reading Group Month. The actual month is October, but this resource is available 365.


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