LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Dreamsickle Kids Foundation, the first Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) organization in Nevada, is hosting their fourth annual charity walk, in-person at the Pearson Community Center and online on Sept. 25.
The event took place online and in-person at the Pearson Community Center located at 1625 W. Carey Avenue.
The event hopes to raise awareness about SCD and fundraise to provide support for individuals impacted by this rare disease in Nevada. SCD is a genetic red blood cell disorder that affects approximately 70,000 to 100,000 Americans.
This year’s walk was unique because it was held in partnership with The Red Cross of Southern Nevada who hosted a blood drive inside the community center the same day.
In an effort to increase diversity in blood donations for SCD patients, Red Cross now screens donors who identify as African Americans for the Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) which must be present in both parents for a child to be born with SCD.
Earlier this month, Governor Steve Sisolak proclaimed September as Sickle Cell Awareness Month in Nevada on the heels of the White House also proclaiming the month for SCD awareness.
The event is being sponsored by pharmaceutical companies such as:
Global Blood Therapeutics, Bluebird Bio, Vertex, Emmaus, and Novartis.
The event also has local support from:
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Albertsons, Whole Foods, Nevada Healthlink, JET Foundation, Las Vegas Area Council Boy Scouts of America.
What makes the above-named pharmaceutical companies’ support so special is they all have either FDA-approved therapies for SCD or are working on therapies specifically for SCD.
Before, 2017, there had not been a drug specifically used or created for SCD in almost 30 years.