The 10th Annual Sickle Cell Warriors Convention chose to come to Houston, Texas at the perfect time.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a significant health concern, affecting not only thousands of individuals across Texas and the United States but millions worldwide. This genetic blood disorder causes red blood cells to assume a sickle shape, leading to various health complications. Recognizing the urgency to advance sickle cell research and improve patient outcomes, a bill was proposed in Texas that included the allocation of funding and resources for research initiatives. However, to the dismay of the SCD community, the Governor of Texas recently vetoed the bill, raising concerns about the future of sickle cell research and the potential impact on patient’s lives.
Individuals with sickle cell disease often face significant challenges in managing their health. Frequent pain crises, fatigue, and susceptibility to infections can disrupt their daily lives. Moreover, the lack of awareness and understanding of SCD in society can lead to stigma and misconceptions, adding to the burden borne by patients and their families.
Research is pivotal in advancing our knowledge of sickle cell disease, seeking better treatment options, and ultimately finding a cure. It offers hope for improving the quality of life for individuals living with SCD and potential breakthroughs that could transform the landscape of healthcare for affected communities.
While the veto presents a significant setback for the sickle cell research community in Texas, it also serves as a rallying call for renewed efforts. It highlights the importance of advocacy and continued support to raise awareness about the challenges those living with SCD face. And we are doing just that at the 10th Annual Sickle Cell Warriors Convention! This year’s theme? Sickle Cell Excellence: Breaking Barriers
HOUSTON— The Sickle Cell Consortium is happy to announce that the 10th Annual Warriors Convention will be held in Houston TX. Texas has the third largest Sickle Cell population in the US, with approximately 70 babies per year being born in the Greater Houston area with the painful genetic disorder, more than any other region of Texas.
“We are happy to join the Houston Sickle Cell Collaborative and celebrate with local warriors and other Houston community-based organizations,” said the Consortium. The event which is sponsored, in part, by Title Sponsor Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Platinum Sponsor Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, will take place at the JW Marriott Houston by the Galleria, located at 5150 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056, from Tuesday, July 19 to Sunday, July 23. The event starts on July 18th for online participants.
Attendees will be treated to sickle cell education, engagement, and entertainment. There is also a Family Game Night, Homecoming Extravaganza, and a Royal Ball. The event wraps up with a Health Fair at the 5th Ward Multi-Service Center, including health booths, a blood and marrow drive, sickle cell trait testing, and school supply donations.
Booth spaces are available to rent for local businesses, who are encouraged to join the convention and participate in the daily events as a vendor. Health vendors are also permitted to join the Health Fair on July 23rd free of charge (pending application approval). “Although the convention is for Sickle Cell Warriors you don’t have to have Sickle Cell to attend. The more people we can educate the more awareness we can bring to our sickle cell community,” said the Consortium.
To register for the Convention please visit: https://www.sicklecellconvention.org/. To sign-up for a Convention or Health Fair Exhibit Booth, visit https://tinyurl.com/SC3Exhibit2023 .~
Sickle cell disease remains a critical health issue impacting countless lives across Texas and beyond. The veto of the bill supporting sickle cell research reflects a challenging moment for the SCD community. However, it also serves as an opportunity to redouble efforts, foster collaboration, and amplify advocacy for the advancement of research initiatives and improved care for patients with sickle cell disease. The call for action is clear – together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by this complex genetic disorder.
The Consortium is comprised of sickle cell community-based organizations (CBOs), patient and caregiver advocates, community partners, and medical and research advisers. These stakeholders collectively form the General Assembly of CBOs and Advocates, the decision-making body of the Consortium. The Consortium acts as an organizing entity providing the framework for the stakeholders of the General Assembly to apply a model of Collective Impact to define problems and gaps in the sickle cell community, identify strategies to address those needs, and gaps, and determine the CBO, Community, and Corporate partnerships best equipped to implement those strategies to achieve significant and sustainable change.