Hey Fit Fam! As you’ve probably heard, Fit Factory is excited to once again be a presenting sponsor of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It is with great pride that we support an organization who is changing the way childhood cancer is understood and treated each day.
Today, on World Sickle Cell Day, we would like to take a couple of minutes to provide more information on what sickle cell disease is and to highlight all that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is doing in an effort to find a cure while simultaneously improving quality of life for those affected.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder affecting red blood cells and can only be diagnosed through a special blood test. Those with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that contain an abnormal type of hemoglobin which causes the red blood cells to become sickle-shaped and, therefore, experience difficulty in passing through small blood vessels. Although this disease comes with serious health complications, it can be treated by early diagnosis, preventative measures, and continuous care.
Over the years St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been a leader in innovation of ways to cure sickle cell disease even before they opened in 1962!
• 1958 St Jude gave a $10,000 grant to Lemuel Diggis, MD who published the 1st comprehensive study of sickle cell disease.
• 1977 St. Jude makes a decision to launch a lifelong treatment plan
• 1983, a St. Jude cancer patient who had sickle cell disease as well became the 1st person in the world cured of sickle cell disease through a bone marrow transplant!
• In 2003, St. Jude’s sickle cell program was named 1 of 10 Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centers.
• 2011, a sickle cell pioneer Winfred Wang, MD of St. Jude, leads nationwide research to advance the use of hydroxyurea in children (Currently only approved drug of treatment for sickle cell disease)
• 2015, St. Jude president unveils the extension of clinical research for sickle cell disease
• 2016, sickle cell disease Transition Clinic was created for 18-year-olds to make a leap from St. Jude to adult care facilities
• 2018, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the 1st health care organization to receive the Legacy Grant, to support the advancement of sickle cell disease research.
St. Jude is constantly working to better understand the disease and how to treat it in hopes of one day finding a cure. Today St. Jude uses bone marrow transplants to improve quality of life and is searching for the cure through new efforts of replacing a defective gene with a healthy version known as innovative gene therapy.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is continuously improving treatments in the search of the cure for childhood cancer and Fit Factory is honored to support these incredible efforts.
If you would like to join us in fighting against sickle cell disease and other childhood cancer, feel free to donate or join our team for the 5k Walk/ Run to End Childhood cancer on September 22nd, 2018 at the Boston Commons here: http://walkrun.stjude.org/FitFactory