Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disorder characterized by an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. A charity organization in Washington that is run by an Indian-origin couple will start a fund raising campaign on Saturday, September 5, 2015, to benefit sickle cell disease research in the US.
Sanjay Patel said, "There are 250 million people in the world that carry the sickle cell gene. It is a very cruel disease, you just never know what is going to happen." Patel and his wife Bhavana Patel are the board members of Hina Patel Foundation, a charity that helps individuals suffering with sickle cell disease and their families by raising awareness, providing support group, and raising funds for research.
Bhavana and Sanjay Patel founded their charity in 2010 after watching sickle cell anemia ravaging their daughter Hina's fragile body. Sanjay said, "Sickle cell anemia is a lifelong genetic disorder that originated as a prevention mechanism from Malaria. As a reaction, the gene becomes defective and causes the normal blood cells to die too quickly. As the damaged sickle cells travel through the body they then become stuck, cutting off the oxygen from other parts of the body and causing them to die."
The fund raising event has been planned at Bakersfield's Riverwalk Park and the proceeds will go to benefit Sickle Cell research at organizations like University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center.