Sickle cell disease will be the topic of a town hall at the South Regional/Broward College Library on Saturday.

The forum will be led Solomon Wilcots, an NFL broadcaster, who was moved to raise awareness about the disease after witnessing the suffering loved ones and teammates.

Wilcot will be joined by fellow NFL veteran Antonio "Dayla" Brown, the Advancing Sickle Cell Advocacy Project (ASAP) and the Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research (FSCDR).

The town hall is being presented by Emmaus Life Sciences Inc. through its Sideline Sickle Cell campaign, of which Wilcots is the face.

Wilcots and Emmaus Life Sciences in April launched Sideline Sickle Cell, an educational campaign designed to raise awareness and drive discussion about recent and future treatment innovations for sickle cell disease among physicians, patients and their family members as well as other members of the SCD community in the United States.

“I look forward to joining Emmaus Life Sciences in hosting our Town Hall Meeting In Pembroke Pines this Saturday,” Wilcots said in a statement. “Our goal is to engage with the local community and offer education on Sickle Cell Disease and the new options available for treatment.”

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder characterized by the production of an altered form of hemoglobin, which polymerizes and becomes fibrous, causing red blood cells to become rigid and change form so that they appear sickle-shaped instead of soft and rounded. Patients with sickle cell disease suffer from debilitating episodes of sickle cell crises, which occur when the rigid, adhesive and inflexible red blood cells obstruct blood vessels.

Sickle cell crises causes patients excruciating pain as a result of insufficient oxygen being delivered to tissue, referred to as tissue ischemia, and inflammation. These events may lead to organ damage, stroke, pulmonary complications, skin ulceration, infection and a variety of other adverse outcomes. Sickle cell disease is a significant unmet medical need, affecting about 100,000 patients in the U.S. and millions worldwide, the majority of which are of African descent.  An estimated 1-in-365 African-American children is born with sickle cell disease.

The town hall will feature a discussion focused on current and emerging sickle cell disease treatments, in addition to serving as an opportunity for participants to share their experiences with this rare disease.

Event Details

Where: South Regional/Broward College Library, 1st Floor, 7300 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines 

When: August 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

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