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New Member Profile:

Charisse Paige, a new member of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, is Director of Development and Special Initiatives of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness and support to issues associated with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).

Sickle Cell Disease describes a group of genetically transmitted red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin in their red blood cells, making it difficult for the cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. The poor oxygen delivery can cause sudden pain, organ damage and anemia due to the sickle cells dying off too quickly to be replaced.

Some genetic disorders are more likely to occur among people who trace their ancestry to a particular geographic area. People in an ethnic group often share certain versions of their genes, which have been passed down from common ancestors. If one of these shared genes contains a disease-causing mutation, a particular genetic disorder may be more frequently seen in the group.

Sickle cell anemia is an example of a genetic condition that is more common in particular ethnic groups, prevalent in people of African, African American, or Mediterranean heritage.

About 70,000 – 100,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease, and around 3 million have sickle cell trait. There are approximately 1,000 babies born each year with sickle cell disease.

The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America is an organization whose mission is to “advocate for and enhance its membership’s ability to improve the quality of health, life and services for individuals, families and communities affected by sickle cell disease and related conditions, while promoting the search for a cure for all people in the world with sickle cell disease.” Their efforts and interests involve areas of research, public health education, professional health education, patient services, community services and support to global organizations.

For more information on this organization and its efforts, please visit https://www.sicklecelldisease.org/.

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