Presidential Message on National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 31, 2018

Presidential Message on National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month

During National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, we stand with those
fighting sickle cell disease (SCD) and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to
finding a cure for this group of hereditary red blood cell disorders.

SCD is a debilitating condition that affects more than 100,000 Americans of all
ages by slowing or blocking blood flow, causing pain and progressive organ
damage, and reducing life expectancy. While the disease disproportionately
affects African Americans, other racial and ethnic groups can also be affected.
Bone marrow and stem cell transplants are the only current forms of treatment
with the potential to cure this disease. These procedures have a high
disease-free survival rate, but it can be difficult to find a matching donor.

My Administration is committed to supporting research to develop a cure to SCD
that is available to all people, expanding on the achievements of current
treatment options. Clinical trials to accelerate the development of new gene and
cell-based therapies within the next 5 to 10 years will be conducted as part of
the National Institutes of Health’s Cure Sickle Cell Initiative, which will
launch this month. Additionally, we are working to better train healthcare
providers to identify individuals with SCD and improve the quality and
continuity of their care from infancy through adulthood. As a result of the many
advances and medical breakthroughs in genetic therapies and research, we are now
closer to finding a cure for all SCD patients.

This month, we celebrate the progress made in treating Americans suffering from
SCD and renew our commitment to end this disease.

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