September, 2014: Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month

WHEREAS, sickle cell disease is a complex genetic disorder characterized by chronic anemia, episodes of debilitating pain and damage to vital organs; and,

WHEREAS, sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States affecting approximately 100,000 Americans, including one in 500 African-American babies and one in every 36,000 Hispanic-American babies; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program identifies on average 62 newborns annually with sickle cell disease; and,

WHEREAS, it is estimated that more than 2,800 Michigan residents suffer from sickle cell disease and approximately 140,000 carry the sickle cell trait; and,

WHEREAS, sickle cell disease has a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, causing both physical and economic hardship, and often early death; and,

WHEREAS, nearly 75 percent of Michigan newborns with sickle cell disease are born in the Detroit and Ann Arbor metropolitan areas, with the remaining births occurring primarily in Saginaw, Flint, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, Lansing and Jackson; and,

WHEREAS, early identification of a child with sickle cell disease coupled with antibiotic prophylaxis by 3 months of age and early intervention services, helps those with sickle cell disease while researchers continue to search for a cure; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan remains dedicated to the provision of sickle cell screening, education, and medical care for individuals and families living with sickle cell disease through its support of the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Newborn Screening Program, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Michigan Chapter, and the Michigan Hemoglobinopathy Quality Improvement Committee,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 2014 as Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month in Michigan.