Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California is Grateful for Civic Duty’s Support During Black History Month

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Every year, about one in 500 African Americans are born in the United States with Sickle Cell Disease. The Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California appreciates the support of Julian Omidi and Michael Omidi, MD and their non-profit Civic Duty.

Just one FDA approved drug is available for treatment.

For more than 50 years, the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California has waged a battle against the spread of the world’s most common genetic disease. The foundation welcomes new partners in the fight against Sickle Cell Disease -- charity Civic Duty and its co-founders Michael Omidi, MD and Julian Omidi.  The Sickle Cell Disease Foundation provides education and life-enhancing programs, works to increase public awareness, and promotes medical research to ultimately find a cure to this horrific disease that affects millions of people around the world.  

“Sickle Cell Disease was identified more than 100 years ago and yet many remain unaware of its devastating effects and sadder yet just one FDA-approved drug is available for treatment,” according to Mary Brown, Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California. “A great deal of important work still needs to be done. We are very thankful for the support of the Omidi brothers and their charity Civic Duty. We hope others will follow their example and help our foundation continue to provide awareness and education programs and promote research for a cure of this ghastly disease.”

An inherited blood disease that causes severe pain, Sickle Cell Disease damages vital organs and for some, ends in death. The disease affects the oxygen-carrying proteins inside red blood cells, distorting them from their normal round shape into a rigid, sickled form. These sickled cells do not pass easily through the body’s blood vessels and the impeded blood flow causes severe pain and damages organs and tissues.  There is currently no universal cure and only a few effective treatments have been identified for those suffering from the disease.

According to the National Institute of Health, in the United States Sickle Cell Disease affects approximately 1 in 5,000 people.  About 1 out of 500 African-American children and 1 out of 36,000 Hispanic-American infants are born with the disease.  It is estimated that a total of 2,000 babies are born each year with the disease and more than 90,000 Americans in total suffer.  People with ancestors from Africa, India, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and some Latin American countries are most likely to inherit the gene that can cause sickle cell disease.

Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  Its beginnings go back to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week".  In 1970 the United States government expanded the designation to the full month of February.

The Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California (http://www.scdfc.org) was founded in 1957 and is the first and oldest non-profit, social service, sickle cell disease organization in the United States.  The foundation helps individuals with sickle cell disease and their families through educational and support programs and services that meet their physical, psychosocial and economic needs. With a growing population of individuals with sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait (disease carriers can passed it to their children), the primary focus of the foundation is to educate, screen and counsel those persons at risk of having children with sickle cell disease and other hemoglobin disorders.

Civic Duty (http://www.civicduty.org) is dedicated to mankind’s search for meaning and promotes the values of its founders, philanthropists Julian Omidi and his brother Dr. Michael Omidi. The charity’s mission is to inspire creative outreach, community service, and volunteerism through the stories of every-day people who are making an extraordinary difference in the world.  Emulation of the great humanitarians of our world is a fervent desire of the founders.  People such as Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men.”  Those interested in pursuing this type of greatness and impact are invited to send a message using the website’s Contact Us function.  More information about Civic Duty can be found on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Civic-Duty/231915443605051?fref=ts as well as Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.

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