Funds will be deployed to help SCDAA member organizations

(April 2, 2020 – Hanover, MD)  Responding to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s (SCDAA) call to raise $100,000 in 10 days for a desperately needed COVID-19 Emergency Fund, Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) responded in a big way. GBT has donated $100,000 to SCDAA’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which will aid SCDAA to deploy vital resources to nonprofits that serve patients with sickle cell disease.

“Right now, we in the sickle cell disease community are facing an unparalleled challenge due to the ever-changing pandemic, and it’s vital that we work together to support those who are most impacted,” said Beverley Francis-Gibson, president of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, “With GBT’s support, we surpassed our initial goal of raising $100,000 in 10 days and now have critical resources to deploy to our non-profit member organizations that are on the front lines supporting the urgent health, economic, and other basic needs of patients with sickle cell disease.”

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder, affecting an estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. and millions more around the globe. It alters the flow of hemogloblobin, the red blood cell molecule that delivers life-giving oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues, resulting in life-threatening multi-organ failure, debilitating pain episodes, and early death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified SCD as one of the underlying medical conditions which may increase the risk of a serious COVID-19 infection, as people with SCD are often immunocompromised and at a greater risk for infections. Additionally, sickle cell care requires a multidisciplinary approach to address the varied consequences of the disease, and access to care can always be challenging but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Navigating COVID-19 has placed significant additional burdens on patients and caregivers living with sickle cell disease; some are facing serious and overwhelming challenges and require help to meet their basic needs,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., president and chief executive officer of GBT. “GBT is proud to support this community, with which we have long been a partner. It was important for us to support SCDAA and local community-based organizations around the country to access much needed resources.”

GBT has also established its own , through which the biopharmaceutical company will provide $150,000 in grants to U.S. nonprofit organizations supporting the acute needs of patients and their families during this national health crisis.  Applications to the GBT Community Fund will be accepted until Friday, April 17, 2020.  More information can be found here.

SCDAA’s nonprofit member organizations, meeting the basic needs of patients with sickle cell disease, are eligible for operating support including those that provide child care, food, housing, health care, and mental health services, as well as those who support local health care systems and frontline health care workers. Funding will be available on a rolling basis.

About SCDAA

SCDAA’s mission is: To advocate for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empower community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure. Visit www.sicklecelldisease.org.

About SCD

SCD, an inherited blood disease, causes red blood cells to have a sickle shape. Because of their stiffness and unusual form, blood flow is blocked to different tissues, ultimately damaging them. These sickle-shaped red blood cells contain an abnormal type of hemoglobin, hemoglobin S; normal red blood cells have hemoglobin A. Hemoglobin is important because it helps carry oxygen throughout the body. There is currently no universal cure for SCD.

 

CONTACT:

Jacqueline Burrell

Director of Communications

JBurrell@sicklecelldisease.org

 

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