Today is the day to be aware of Sickle Cell

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SICKLE CELL Awareness Day (June 19) will see the world’s first IG Ad to promote and raise awareness for those living with SCD (Sickle Cell Disease).

Sickle Cell Disease is now one of the most common genetic conditions in the UK and as a disease that predominantly affects the black community, Sickle Cell “Sufferers” have taken it upon themselves to elevate the profile of Sickle Cell and take a step forward towards reaching equal awareness amongst other major chronic conditions.

Though Sickle Cell Disease is inherited, chronic and life threatening, it has been overlooked by the UK government when assessing its eligibility for disability support and free prescriptions.

However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, people with Sickle Cell Disease have for the first time been acknowledged as a minority worth safeguarding.

By defining the condition and acknowledging it by name rather than the typical ‘other’, sickle cell warriors have been given a starting point to now open up these conversations and educate others on their real-life experiences living with the condition.

The IG Ad “Call Me By My Name” conceptualised by Producer and Sickle Cell Warrior Petra Akinsiku, came from her own experience living with Sickle Cell. As a firm believer that awareness is the strongest and most fundamental requirement for change amongst the Sickle Cell community, she felt it was time to finally represent the condition the way those living with SCD feel is most true to themselves.

Working with Bafta award-winning director Akin Akinsiku, the Ad has been personally funded by those involved living with the condition in the hope that it will shed light on the fact that they desire to live bright and fulfilling lives.

With a condition so heavily reliant on mental strength and resilience, the Ad features and represents individuals who choose to live their lives acknowledging who they are, their abilities and removing the mental restrictions or physical limitations imposed on them. 

Akinsiku said: “I wanted to separate ourselves from the condition so that we can be seen as individuals living with sickle cell and not a ‘sickle cell person’.”


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