National Sickle Cell Day

A diverse group of people engaging in various activities, showcasing the cultural significance and support for National Sickle Cell Day..
National sickle cell day illustration

Welcome to the wacky world of National Sickle Cell Day! Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions as we dive into the internet history of this important day. From heartwarming stories to informative resources, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a wild ride!

When is Sickle Cell Day?

It's national sickle cell day on the 19th June.

The Origins of National Sickle Cell Day

Every year on June 19, we celebrate National Sickle Cell Day to raise awareness about sickle cell disease and honor those who live with this condition. But why this specific date, you may wonder?

Back in 2008, the U.S. Congress officially designated June 19 as National Sickle Cell Day to recognize the impact of sickle cell disease on individuals and families. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Ernest E. Just, an African American biologist and pioneer in the study of cell biology who made significant contributions to our understanding of sickle cell disease.

Understanding Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that affects the shape of red blood cells, causing them to become rigid and sickle-shaped. These abnormal blood cells can get stuck in blood vessels and disrupt normal blood flow, leading to pain, organ damage, and a range of other health problems.

While sickle cell disease primarily affects people of African, Hispanic, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern descent, it can occur in individuals from any background. It's estimated that around 100,000 Americans are currently living with sickle cell disease.

Spreading Awareness and Support

National Sickle Cell Day serves as an opportunity to educate the public about sickle cell disease, promote early detection and diagnosis, and advocate for improved treatments and support for those living with the condition. Organizations, medical professionals, and individuals across the country use this day to raise awareness through events, campaigns, and educational initiatives.

By sharing personal stories, organizing fundraisers, and participating in local events, we can all play a part in supporting individuals with sickle cell disease and their loved ones. Together, we can help improve the lives of those affected by this challenging condition.

History behind the term 'Sickle Cell'


Discovery of abnormal red blood cells

In 1910, a physician named James Herrick identified abnormal red blood cells when observing a patient's blood under a microscope. These cells appeared sickle-shaped instead of the typical round shape. This observation marked the initial discovery of sickle cell disease.


Understanding the genetic basis

In the year 1949, scientists identified the genetic basis of sickle cell disease. They discovered that the disease was inherited as an autosomal recessive disorder, meaning an individual must receive two copies of the abnormal gene (one from each parent) to develop the disease.


Linking sickle cell to anemia

In the early 1950s, researchers uncovered the connection between sickle cell disease and anemia. They found that the abnormal sickle-shaped red blood cells were less efficient at carrying oxygen, leading to symptoms of anemia in affected individuals.


Identification of sickle cell trait

During the 1970s, scientists further expanded their understanding of sickle cell disease by identifying a milder form known as sickle cell trait. Individuals with the trait carry one copy of the abnormal gene and are typically asymptomatic, but may pass the gene on to their offspring.


Advancements in treatment

In the mid-1990s, significant advancements in the treatment of sickle cell disease emerged. These included the introduction of hydroxyurea, a medication that helps reduce the frequency of pain crises, and advancements in bone marrow transplantation techniques, offering potential curative options for some patients.


Increased awareness and support

Over the past few decades, there has been a notable increase in awareness and support for individuals living with sickle cell disease. Various organizations, advocacy groups, and events aim to educate the public, provide support for patients and families, and promote research for better treatment options.

Did you know?

Did you know that sickle cell disease was first discovered in 1910 by a physician named Dr. James Herrick? He noticed abnormally shaped red blood cells in a patient's blood sample, leading to the identification of this unique condition.


awareness loved ones

First identified

19th June 2015

Most mentioned on

19th June 2015

Total mentions


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