Several gospel and R&B artists are lending their voices for a livestream on World Sickle Cell Day to raise awareness and support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Called ‘Inspired: Together #forStJude,’ the event will take place from 6-8 p.m. ET, on Thursday, June 18, on St. Jude social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Hosts Willie Moore, Jr. and Krystal Lee will welcome artists Erica Campbell, Marsha Ambrosius, MAJOR., Anthony Brown, Jonathan McReynolds, comedians George Willborn, Griff and many more for an inspirational celebration filled with music, comedy and conversations that will spotlight stories of triumph over sickle cell disease. The two-hour virtual event is free and open to the general public although donations are encouraged.
For nearly 60 years, St. Jude has been committed to understanding and treating sickle cell disease, which is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting about 100,000 Americans. It can occur in all races but is most common in African-Americans and Hispanics. About one out of 365 African-American babies born in the US has sickle cell disease. Today St. Jude has one of the largest sickle cell disease programs in the country, treating 850-900 patients annually.
In the 1980s, St. Jude made a significant discovery when it became the first institution to cure sickle cell disease with a bone marrow transplant on 8-year-old patient Kimberlin. She was already managing sickle cell disease when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). After receiving a bone marrow transplant to cure the AML, doctors discovered that the transplant cured her sickle cell disease as well.
“Being able to support the treatment and research of sickle cell disease is one of our proudest ongoing accomplishments, which includes bringing awareness to and advancing cures for this terrible disease that has taken too many young lives and causes great suffering to hundreds of thousands,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President & CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Since we opened our doors in 1962, sickle cell disease has been a critical focus of our work and our commitment has only accelerated as we’ve grown in the last five decades. Innovative events like this World Sickle Cell Day livestream help us continue to shine a spotlight on this disease, its crushing effects, and the progress we continue to make until children are no longer in its grip.”
Events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Visit stjude.org/inspiredtogether for more information.