• You Can Help!

Here is how you can get involved:

  1. A population educated on sickle cell disease and regenerative medicine is crucial and if you’ve been reading the material on this site or another like it, you’re off to a great start.

  2. Get involved to help patients with sickle cell disease by donating to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America or The Henry Grady Foundation at Grady Health System.

  3. Choose to donate your baby’s umbilical cord blood to a public bank. Although private banks offer to hold your child’s blood for your child’s own use, this blood is unlikely to be able to help him or her. If you discover later on that your child suffers from a blood disorder, unfortunately the diseased red blood cells will also be present in his or her cord blood. However, if your child is healthy, his or her cord blood can help save one of hundreds of thousands of children suffering from blood disorders like sickle cell anemia.

    Moreover, if your child or his sibling needs the blood in the future, there is a good chance you will be able to receive the blood for free. A major hindrance to using adult stem cells to cure sickle cell anemia is the rarity of blood matches. Because hosts are much more likely to accept umbilical cord blood, this blood is particularly in demand. This blood, which would otherwise be thrown away or unused, can save a child’s life. Learn more at the Cord Blood Center, Parent's Guide to Cord Blood or the National Marrow Donor Program.

  4. Donate one of various stem cell institutes in the United States. You can donate to the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, University of Pittsburgh McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

  5. Contact local politicians and tell them you support stem cell research (remember this doesn’t necessarily include embryonic stem cell research!)

Dr. Jacob Hanna's thoughts: "First of all, we are really thankful for any moral support for people who are trying to do this despite a lot of difficulties. Second, I think for patients, [if they can] really be cooperative in [research] studies, or by providing samples through hospitals and organized programs, this is a very meaningful way that families can really do their share to boost research. That way we can learn from sometimes their painful experiences but at the same time it will enable us to do this research and alleviate many of these syndromes. For many families, this is a very meaningful way to support research."