February 2011: This Month in SC News


Remember last year when researchers stated that nitric oxide improves a sickle cell crisis? Well the University of Pittsburgh just did another study which effectively counteracted my idea of inhaling laughing gas when in a crisis. Their conclusion of the phase 2 double blind randomized placebo study proved that there was no difference between inhaling nitric acid while in a pain crisis. Another one bites the dust. Read the full story HERE.

The NY Times recently featured sickle cell on their website. They did interviews with 6 sickle cell warriors from around the nation, and captured a glimpse of what someone with sickle cell goes through on a regular basis. I’m so grateful to all those that participated in getting our story out there. Kudos to you from SC Warrior. Muah!

For the sports fans out there, this one is for you. Che’Na Thompson, a basketball athlete with sickle cell trait, has found a way to listen to her body and play the sport she loves well at the same time. People were concerned that when the NCAA instituted new regulations for screening for sickle cell, there would be blowback to the athletes. However, the regulation has saved Che’Na’s life as she no longer has to be at risk killing herself just to play basketball. She plays for 4-5 minutes and then takes a rest until her heart rate returns to baseline. Read more of her story here.

I love Canada! They just completed the Sickle Cell Torch of Life campaign last week. A torch (similar to the Olympic torch), was carried across the country by athletes, celebrities, politicians, civilians and soldiers alike. They have less of a population affected than the US, and yet, I’m inspired. If that doesn’t create education and awareness, well I don’t know what will.

Meanwhile, back in the US, SCDAA has launched it’s ‘One Million in 100 Days’ campaign for sickle cell. This national fundraising and awareness initiative is designed to focus on education and funding for sickle cell disease (SCD) programs, treatment and research. The campaign will be receiving donations via Text. Very 2011:) Check out press release HERE.

Internationally, Ghana just got funding from Brazil (over $13 million), and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to build a new sickle cell center in Kumasi, Ghana. 22% of Ghanaians have sickle cell, and this funding will go towards building the center and financing outreach, education and health programs. I love it when countries, organizations and people work together to break the sickle cycle. Rock on!

Besides there, there was chatter about needing more African-Americans to donate blood to the Red Cross, Adventrx officially signing the docs to the new bio-company/sickle cell drug merger (which is still very hush-hush), and old news about kids with sickle cell suffering silent strokes. This rounds up the month of February, 2011 in Sickle Cell News and Research. Catch you next time.


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