The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc., joins the Foundation For Sickle Cell Disease Research (FSCDR) in condemning the use of sickle cell disease (SCD) as a punchline on the HBO Max show Velma. For the over 100,000 Americans impacted by sickle cell and their families, this disease is anything but a laughing matter. Stereotypes and misinformation reinforced by media clips such as this have real-life consequences. Sickle cell patients struggle to be taken seriously and receive proper care, even when they present with life-threatening symptoms in the emergency room. As we work to change the perception of sickle cell and increase education surrounding this condition, insensitive and inappropriate jokes like these work against progress and contribute to the spread of misinformation. We must do better and encourage people to treat rare diseases with the respect they are due.

Click here to read the full statement from FSCDR.