(Image: Facebook/The Sickle Cell Foundation Tennessee)

A church, a collaborative and a foundation have partnered to spread awareness of Sickle Cell Disease.

This month, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee (TSCF), Mount Zion Baptist Church, and HEAL Collaborative will host Sickle Cell Disease: A Community Conversation.

Within the United States, Sickle Cell Disease disproportionately affects African Americans and takes many lives each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) affects approximately 100,000 Americans, affecting about one of every 365 African-American births. It can ultimately lead to strokes, organ damage and early death.

About 1 in 13 African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT). People with SCT usually do not have any of the symptoms of SCD, but they can pass the trait on to their children, according to the CDC.

Also, sickle cell is a precondition that can be exacerbated by COVID-19, as the virus appears to also target the same demographic. Those who are already living with SCD are at a greater risk of their condition worsening if they happen to contract the virus. 

The Sickle Cell Disease: A Community Conversation will take place virtually on YouTube Live at 10 a.m.  Saturday (Dec. 5).

The trio of partners leading the event is familiar with assisting people in need. 

The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee has supported over one million people by advocating and raising awareness for the sickle cell community.

Mount Zion Baptist Church holds eight services each week and is home to over eight-thousand worshipers linked to empowering the people of God and providing holistic ministry to the community. 

HEAL is a non-profit organization that specializes in educating underserved communities on health care services. Its mission includes striving to increase the accessibility of treatment options. 

Saturday’s interactive experience is geared toward area communities of color and is designed to educate viewers on the warning signs, treatments and general information regarding the illness.

The presentation will be headlined by a panel, which includes TSCF CEO, Reginald French; Kiara Y. Moore, MSPH, MNA, Health & Wellness Ministry Coordinator at Mount Zion Baptist Church; and Richard L. Martin, medical director of the Sickle Cell Disease Program at Meharry Medical College.

Tennessee state Rep. Harold M. Love Jr. (D-Nashville) also will join the conversation. 

The virtual event is set for YouTube Live at 10 a.m. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3ludeCN.