SCFA - Sickle Cell Foundation of Alberta

 

A common disease that’s rarely talked about.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Despite its prevalence, people born with SCD tend to suffer in silence. Cultural barriers and misinformation about SCD have contributed to its bad reputation. SCD is definitely not contagious. Nevertheless, many people mistakenly believe SCD is easily transmitted like other blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis C and HIV.

This disease affects all people differently and the severity of symptoms varies from person to person. SCD can be managed with medical treatment. Early diagnosis, regular medical care by a qualified doctor, and awareness of pain triggers all contribute to improved quality of life for patients living with SCD.

The Sickle Cell Foundation of Alberta (SCFA) is dedicated to creating awareness about SCD, advocating for funding for SCD research and providing support services to patients living in Alberta, their parents and caregivers.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic blood disorder. It is inherited when offspring receive the sickle cell trait from both their biological parents... read more

 

Childhood-Onset

Children are born with Sickle Cell Disease, but they may not show symptoms until after their fetal hemoglobin is depleted... read more

 

Common Around the World

Sickle Cell Disease affects millions of people from around the world, especially those whose ancestors descended from... read more

News/Events


21st November 2019
Establishing a Multi-Country Sickle Cell Disease Registry in Africa: Ethical Considerations.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most prevalent genetic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a chronic, lifelong disease often characterized by severe pain. However, SCD has received little investment terms of health research, though there is currently a growing pool of SCD data from health and research facilities in different countries. To …

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13th November 2019
A Patient Hopes Gene-Editing Can Help With Pain Of Sickle Cell Disease

Victoria Gray slides open a closet door, pulls out a suitcase and starts packing piles of clothes. “My goodness,” says Gray. “Did I really bring all this?” Gray, who has sickle cell disease, is the first patient with a genetic disorder whom doctors in the United States have tried to treat using the powerful gene-editing …

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8th November 2019
NIH launches new collaboration to develop gene-based cures for sickle cell disease and HIV on global scale

Initial investment aims to advance accessible and scalable candidate interventions into clinical trials within 10 years. The National Institutes of Health plans to invest at least $100 million over the next four years toward an audacious goal: develop affordable, gene-based cures for sickle cell disease (SCD) and HIV. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will …

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2nd October 2019
Antibiotics for treating acute chest syndrome in people with sickle cell disease.

The clinical presentation of acute chest syndrome is similar whether due to infectious or non-infectious causes, thus antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat all episodes. Many different pathogens, including bacteria, have been implicated as causative agents of acute chest syndrome. There is no standardized approach to antibiotic therapy and treatment is likely to vary from …

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Frequently Asked Questions


 

01

What are sickle cells?

Most red blood cells are round in shape - like a disc - so they can easily flex through blood vessels of all sizes. Sickle cells are not like normal red blood cells. They have abnormal hemoglobin which causes red blood cells to become misshapen, hard and sticky. These C-shaped cells get their name from a farm tool called the “sickle”, which is a similar shape.

 
 
02

How do you get Sickle Cell Disease?

You inherit the disorder from your biological parents. The disease is only passed on genetically when offspring receive the sickle cell trait from both biological parents. It is present for life.

03

Is Sickle Cell Disease a rare blood disorder?

It is the most common genetic blood disorder world-wide. Despite this, many people – including doctors, nurses, and school teachers – aren’t familiar with this disease.

 
 
04

How come people with Sickle Cell Disease get ill often?

Sickle cells die quicker than healthy, red blood cells. For this reason, red blood cells in someone living with SCD are in constant short supply. A sickle cell patient will tire more easily, become dehydrated more quickly, and is prone to frequent pain crises and serious infection.

05

How will I know if I have Sickle Cell Disease?

A simple blood test called the hemoglobin electrophoresis can be done by your doctor. This test will tell if you are a carrier of the sickle cell trait, or if you have the disease.  New born babies can also be screened for sickle cell disease.

 
 
06

What is sickle cell trait?

A person with sickle cell trait carries one sickle hemoglobin producing gene and one normal hemoglobin gene. Normal hemoglobin is called type ‘A’ and sickle hemoglobin is called type ‘S’. Sickle cell trait is the presence of hemoglobin ‘AS’ on the hemoglobin electrophoresis. This will NOT cause sickle cell disease.

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Our Directors


Directors

Michelle Paterson Nipp

President

Revee Agyepong

Director

Kale Vizor

Director

Abisola Ojikutu

Director

Bernice Asiedu-Ampen

Director

Theo Ehiwe

Treasurer

Dr. Carlyle Ross

Director

Dr. Jean Walrond PhD

Vice President

Michael Ngatcha

Director

Founded in 2001 by Dr Ekua Yorke and Dr Jojo Yorke. Sickle Cell Disease is one of the most common childhood-onset, single-gene disorder. Check out these stats on the right.

1/365
SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.

1/16,300
SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.

1/13
About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT).

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Cell Patient


While there is no cure yet for Sickle Cell Disease, the painful symptoms of this disease can be prevented by regular blood transfusions.

Donate now