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  1. Before You Arrive: How to Prepare for Sickle Cell Advocacy Day

    April 13, 2015 by Andrea
    Photo: SCDAA/sicklecelldisease.org

    Photo: SCDAA/sicklecelldisease.org

    There are only two more days until Sickle Cell Advocacy Day 2015 kicks off! You probably already have plans to hit the Hill and speak with your representatives, meet with other SCD advocates, and even see a little bit of the city while you're there (the Cherry Blossoms are beautiful this time of year!). Before you pack up the car, hop on the train, or board the plane for D.C., here are a few things you should do to prepare. 

    1. Become an official sickle cell disease advocate. We already know you have a passion for helping people with sickle cell, but if you're not already an official member of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), you should definitely join before you arrive in D.C. This way, you'll be sure to stay on top of SCD events, legislative activities, and more that relate to SCD throughout the entire year, not just this one day. Joining is easy: Just e-mail scdaa@sicklecelldisease.org or call them at 410-528-1555, and they'll get you started.

    2. Familiarize yourself with the legislative materials. This year, as in other years, the focus will be on the re-authorization of the Sickle Cell Treatment Act, as well as the topics of funding, research, education, and awareness. Look over these materials before you arrive, so that you're familiar with the important talking points you should address when meeting with your rep. 

    3. Review the agenda. April 15 and 16 will be full of hard work, but also full of fun, so make sure you check the agenda, so you don't miss important meetings and meet-ups. There will be a welcome reception and advocacy training on April 15, the night before your day on Capitol Hill. Then, after your day on the Hill, be sure to attend the "Eat & Greet" co-hosted by Xickle and Dr. Lakiea Bailey, where you can enjoy some good food, network, share ideas, and learn ore about how Xickle can help those with SCD. 

    What are you most looking forward to doing/attending this Sickle Cell Advocacy Day? Tell us in the comments below!

  2. 4 Reasons You Should Attend Sickle Cell Advocacy Day 2015

    March 30, 2015 by Andrea

    scd ribbon collage

    1. Let your voice (actually) be heard.
    It's cool to share your experiences on social media, join your local sickle cell support group, sign petitions, and write letters to your representatives, but there's no replacement for meeting with your reps face to face. Give them a human face with which to associate the struggles of SCD and the need for more research, better funding, increased awareness, and improved healthcare access. 

    2. Collaborate with other warriors. Expand your circle of advocates (and friends) by meeting them not only on the Hill, but also during the Sickle Cell Community Consortium's "eat and greet" at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 at the Sheraton Silver Spring. Attendance is free, but be sure to RSVP by e-mailing sccconsortium@gmail.com. This is the perfect place to network and share your advocacy ideas with new people, as well as hear their input.

    3. Meet the co-founder of Xickle. Dr. Eric Coles -- the co-founder of Xickle -- will be hosting the meet-up, along with Dr. Lakiea Bailey, and will share more information about Xickle RBC-Plus and the impact it's been shown to have on the red blood cells of people with sickle cell disease. Get to know him and our product and be sure to come with any questions you may have. 

    4. Get away for awhile. Take a break from your typical routine and use this change of scenery to get inspired, motivated, and reenergized. Get ready to arm yourself with new information and a fresh perspective that you'll be able to take home with you and implement among your own community of sicklers. 

    Do you plan on attending Sickle Cell Advocacy Day this year? What are you most looking forward to?

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