The “For Adults Only With Sickle Cell Disease Workshop” is one of the events being held in recognition of September as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
It is sponsored by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia Inc. in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Health Policy Center, and Southeastern Primary Care Consortium Inc. Atlanta Area Health Education Center (SPCC AHEC)
Deb McGhee-McCrary, CEO of the Sickle Cell Foundation, said the 9 a.m.-to-3 p.m. workshop will help empower people with sickle cell disease to become advocates for their health, to seek appropriate medical care, and to establish a regular medical home rather than relying on emergency rooms.
Participants will hear from hematology specialists with Emory University’s School of Medicine, sickle cell disease support group leaders, and patients living with the disease. The community resources segment will identify services available for uninsured sickle cell patients.
Sickle cell is an inherited red blood cell disorder and trait that affects people of many racial and ethnic groups around the world, particularly African-Americans.
The disorder causes blood cells to become hard and sticky and look like the C-shaped farm tool sickle. More than 2 million people carry the sickle cell gene that can be passed to their children.
Georgia has one of the highest occurrence rates in the United States, and DeKalb is among the 10 counties in Georgia with the highest incidence of the disease. People with the disease are born with two sickle cell genes – one from each parent. If a person only has one sickle cell gene, it’s called sickle cell trait. About one in 12 African-Americans has sickle cell trait.
A blood test can show if a person has the trait or anemia. Most states test newborn babies as part of their newborn screening programs.
The Adamsville Recreation Center and Natatorium is at 3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive S.W.
To register for the workshop, visit http://sicklecelladultworkshop.eventbrite.com, or call 404-815-4996 or 404-755-1641.