On Sunday December 2nd 2018, the PowerFilledYouth TO team had the opportunity to volunteer and help out at the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario’s 2019 Christmas party, which is designed for people who have children and youth effected by this disease/disorder.
We did fundraising throughout the month of November, including our 5K walkathon in order to raise the funds to be able to purchase gifts for the children that would be attending the celebration.
Once all the gifts were purchased and wrapped, we were all very excited to participate in this joyful event. The PFYTO team was dressed as reindeer and elves and helped with various activities at the event including face painting, decorating cookies, crafts, set up, take down and distributing the gifts. We made many new friends and lots of smiles and giggles were shared. We look forward to doing it again next year. Congratulations to the SCAO on a successful, well-executed Christmas Party.
What is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell disease is an inherited form of anemia where red blood cells become abnormally long and pointed, similar to the shape of a banana. It affects millions worldwide. Sickle cell Disease (SCD) is a group of life-threatening, inherited disorders that affect the normal functioning of the red blood cells.
The four common syndromes in the group are:
Commonly, when people refer to sickle cell disease it is assumed that it is an interchangeable term for Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle Cell Anemia is the most severe form of SCD. Individuals with this form also experience the worst symptoms at a higher rate.
Hemoglobin SC disease is the second most common type of sickle cell disease. It occurs when you inherit the Hb C gene from one parent and the Hb S gene from the other. Individuals with Hb SC have similar symptoms to individuals with Hb SS. However, anemia is less severe.
Sickle beta thalassemia disease is the least common syndrome next to the trait, sickle hemoglobin C disease, and sickle cell anemia. Although sickle hemoglobin C disease does not have a significantly higher incident rate, it is more commonly found in those of African and Hispanic descent. These two diseases cause more difficulties than the sickle cell trait, but are not as severe as sickle cell anemia.
People who only inherit a mutated gene hemoglobin S from one parent are said to have sickle cell trait. They may have no symptoms or reduced symptoms.
Common symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease include severe abdominal and bone pain, joint swelling pain, splenic sequestration, aplastic anaemia, vassocclusive crisis, organ damage and infection. Individuals affected with Sickle Cell Disease may also experience serious respiratory infections. Although Sickle Cell Disease is not curable at the moment, it can be managed by patients, their families and healthcare professionals with proper education and training.
For more information about Sickle Cell Disease, please visit the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario (SCAO) at https://sicklecellontario.ca/