Inaugural walk raises awareness for sickle cell disease and blood donations

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Dozens braved the rain Saturday morning in Nashville for an inaugural event that benefitted a local sickle cell awareness foundation.

Runners and walkers of all ages joined together at Edwin Warner Park for Breaking the Sickle Cell Cycle Foundation’s first-ever Warrior Walk/Run 5k.

The foundation was established several years ago by Nashville resident, Dr. Lametra Scott, whose 9-year-old son, Rickey, has the disease.

“For so long, sickle cell disease has been in the dark,” Scott said. “Through a lot of prayer, collaboration and doing my research, the foundation was born. I wanted to help other people not have to walk this path in terms of having a child with sickle cell disease. I also wanted to be an ally for them if they were on that path.”

The CDC states that sickle cell disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans and occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black births and 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.

“Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder and blood donations are vital to the people in the sickle cell community,” according to Scott.

For that reason, the foundation teamed up with Blood Assurance for a mobile blood drive at the Warrior Walk/Run 5k. Participants were encouraged to donate blood and be tested for the sickle cell trait, which can lead to the disease.

“To commemorate National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, we wanted to offer donors an opportunity to learn if they carry the trait because so many don’t know if they do,” said Max Winitz, a public relations specialist with Blood Assurance. “We are incredibly proud to have teamed up with Dr. Scott and her foundation. Many suffering from this disease are in need of blood transfusions and we appreciate all the donors who provided lifesaving blood.”

Blood Assurance is offering the free trait testing at all of its fixed locations and mobile blood drives through the end of the month.

For more information visit, bloodassurance.org and btsscycle.org.

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