After last week's letter, Sickle Cell Disease is No Joke, we got a number of responses asking what can I do?
All of the programs that might help people with the disease: educational outreach, better training of medical personnel, and research, take money. Our small office staff can barely scratch the surface of the work that needs to be done. The same can be said of most of the sickle cell organizations across the country, we don't have the money we need to really make a difference.
You see it all the time in bigger charities. We all remember everything that was done for breast cancer awareness, the pink shoes worn by football players, the walks that seemed to happen in every park, talk show appearances by big stars and athletes; all of that took money, lots and lots of money.
Sickle cell disease affects far fewer people than breast cancer, heart disease or stroke. It's no surprise then that many people have not heard of it. For us to have a successful fundraiser, we need first of all to get the message out. Sickle cell is a life-long genetic disease. We have made much progress in increasing life-spans and decreasing pain crisis, but we have a long way to go. People are still suffering and dying needlessly.
Right about now, you may be thinking, I know they need money, but I can only give five dollars, and five dollars won't help.
Think about it this way. Suppose you contact ten friends and ask them to each give five dollars. They can go to our website, www.scdfc.org and find our about our programs and how to donate. Now your five dollars become fifty and if ten more people reading this letter did the same thing, we'd have five-hundred dollars to work with.
Five hundred dollars could pay the printing costs for a small conference for parents, it could pay for coffee and pastries so everyone would feel welcome. Five hundred dollars could help for soap, paper towels, bottled water or other supplies for our kids at Camp Crescent Moon.
True, these are small things but they matter. It all starts with you and your friends. Please help us. Together we can make a difference for everyone with sickle cell, children, adults and their families. Remember Sickle Cell Disease Is No Joke.
1st Vice Chair
Chair of the SCDFC Advocacy Committee
Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California