Vrrroom Into May with Central VA’s Unity Ride for Sickle Cell Disease

From now until May, 8th, a local television news station in Central Virginia, will be leading the community in raising funds for sickle cell disease (SCD).

A part of the effort is to raise awareness about SCD. Many people may only know about sickle cell anemia, a specific form of the disease. Raising awareness leads people to become better educated about the condition. Also, it is very important to hear people’s personal stories to better understand why funding is necessary.

Red blood cells with normal hemoglobin are O-shaped, with an indentation instead of a hole. With SCD, abnormal hemoglobin causes a C-shape (the shape of a farming blade called a sickle), which can prevent blood from flowing properly. This block of blood flow is commonly referred to as a “crisis.”

Sitrena Woodson was diagnosed in her 40s. She states that some days she can’t move because of the disease. Other days she feels achy and has a hard time pushing through. Riding her motorcycle makes her feel as if she’s riding away from her aches and pains, at least for a little while. She enjoys the feeling off getting on her bike and feeling the freedom and air. It helps bring her back to life when she can just travel.

19-year-old Rayshaun Mason also has sickle cell and his step father will ride on his behalf. He has a difficult time even explaining the pain that he is in when he has a crisis. Furthermore, his mother Angela Delaney states that he is in an excruciating amount of pain where sometimes the medicines do not work. She admitted that before Rayshaun was diagnosed, she did not know much about the disease. She was not even aware that she had the trait. This is why awareness is essential. There is a 25% chance that a child will have SCD if both parents have the trait.

Both families will be participating in the Sickle Cell Unity Ride. It will be 9:00 am to 11:00 am on May 5,2017 at the Petersburg Health Department in Virginia. All donations will go directly to the Sickle Cell Association of Richmond.

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