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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 10, 2016 11:01 AM
From: Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: PA Sickle Cell Advocacy Day
In the near future, I am planning to introduce a resolution designating May 17, 2016, as “PA Sickle Cell Advocacy Day.”

Each year in the United States, approximately 2,000 infants are born with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that affects red blood cells, which become sickle-shaped, making it difficult for these cells to pass through small blood vessels. Sickle cell disease is not contagious, and there is no known cure for sickle cell disease. The complications from this serious disease are usually fatal, so the primary goal of health care providers is to prevent further complications.

Children with sickle cell disease require ongoing medical attention, and typically require hospitalization on a periodic basis. Hospitalizations and home recovery result in a school-age child missing an average of one month of school per year, which creates special challenges for the children, their parents, educators and social workers. If hospitalization occurs, this can be a difficult time for children and their families, often causing economic hardship that requires financial support for the families.

In the United States, sickle cell disease is most common in African Americans, occurring in 1 in every 500 births in this ethnic group, while also occurring in 1 in every 36,000 Hispanic-American births. By 2050, it is estimated that more than 400,000 babies will be born with sickle cell disease around the world, as the incidence of this hereditary blood disorder is increasing.

Advocates seek stable funding, better healthcare access, expanded programs, and increased education and awareness for sickle cell disease consumers, families, and programs benefiting children with this serious disease. Please join me in highlighting this special day.

Introduced as HR888