There are several ways you can help in the fight against sickle cell disease:
Nearly a decade ago, the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Region and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia established the Cooperative Sickle Cell Donor Program to encourage African-American donors to earmark their blood donations for children with sickle cell disease. The program now includes St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
About 15 percent of sickle cell patients at Children's Hospital are on chronic transfusion and receive blood every three to four weeks. People who receive frequent transfusions need blood that is closely matched to their own.
Currently, 1,000 units of blood are collected a month through the program. The collection goal for 2006 is 1,500 units of blood per month, and the program is working to expand the number of area hospitals that participate.
For more information about being a blood donor or sponsoring a blood drive through an organization or workplace, call the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or Michele Haynes at Children's Hospital at 267-426-9723.
The Community Advocacy Committee (CAC) seeks to raise funds to support research and patient services at the Sickle Cell Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and to educate the public about sickle cell disease. The committee is comprised of community volunteers and parents of children with the disease. The CAC's premier event is an annual Blue Tag Gala “Silent Auction” held on the first Saturday in September. Individuals or organizations that would like to support the activities of the CAC or would like more information may contact Michele Haynes at 267-426-9723.
Our annual overnight camp held each August enables sickle cell patients ages 7 to 14 to experience the fun of summer camp in a caring environment with specially trained staff that is aware of their needs. Transportation, food, medical equipment, and other expenses are funded solely through contributions. The families of the campers pay nothing. The camp is staffed by physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists and community volunteers. Contact Kim Smith-Whitley, MD, Medical director of the Sickle Cell Center, at 267-426-9723 to donate to the camp.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a not-for-profit organization that relies on charitable contributions to help offset the cost of tens of millions of dollars of uncompensated care annually. If you'd like to designate funds to the Sickle Cell Center, visit our Giving page, click "Donate Now," and select "Sickle Cell Center" from the drop-down menu. You may also select any of the other options.