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Celebrating Black History Month and Recognizing Those Dedicated to Sickle Cell Awareness

February 1, 2016 by Andrea
Photo: Screenshot/Vimeo

Photo: Screenshot/Vimeo, Toyin Adesola



As we celebrate the start of Black History Month and honor the contributions and struggles of those who've come before, we'd also like to recognize a few people who are making history today in regard to sickle cell awareness. A disease that disproportionately affects African Americans, it is paramount that we celebrate advancements and those people who help to make them a reality.

1. Memphis Grizzlies Player, Mike Conley
According to The Commerical Appeal, Orion Federal Credit Union donated $15,000 to the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center in Tennessee on Conley's behalf. A longtime advocate of sickle cell, Conley's passion for raising awareness of SCD stems from the fact that a few of his own family members are warriors, themselves.

2. The Team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Adult Sickle Cell Clinic
Last week, UAB also raised money -- $1 million, in fact -- to go toward its Adult Sickle Cell Clinic. Not an overnight success type situation, raising these funds took half a decade and a lot of perseverance. As reported by Alabama Newscenter, back in December of 2010, the North Central Alabama chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America pledged $1 million to the clinic. Over the course of the next five years, many fundraising events were held and a sickle cell awareness vehicle tag was created and sold until, finally, the full amount was collected and presented to the clinic this past December.

3. Toyin Adesola
A native Nigerian and sickle cell warrior for more than 40 years, Adesola refused to succumb to sickle cell and has made a name for herself as a speaker, advocate, and author. In a recent interview with Konnect Africa, Adesola credits her faith in God with helping to keep her going. She also launched a nonprofit called the Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative to help reduce the occurrence of SCD in Nigeria and to "empower and improve the lives of people with sickle cell anaemia disorider to live healthy, positive, and impactful lives by educating, creating awareness, and providing support through various channels." Her 2005 autobiography, "Still Standing", is also being made into a film. Check out the trailer here.

Stay tuned throughout this month, as we recognize even more of those who contribute to the awareness and advocacy of SCD.


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