September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Because it is “back to school” month for most children, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America wants the public to reflect on the children and the adults whose lives, education and careers have been affected by this disease. The observance originated in 1975 when the Association and its Member Organizations began conducting month long events to call attention to sickle cell disease and the need to address the problem at national and local levels.
The Association and its Member Organizations sponsored public educational programs and fund raising activities during the month. State and local government officials issue Sickle Cell Month proclamations and are introduced to local poster children.
The tradition of selecting a National Poster Child from local candidates began in 1976 with President Gerald Ford greeting the first winner at the White House. Presidents’ Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton have also greeted the National Poster Child.
The effort to have Sickle Cell Month officially recognized at all levels succeeded in 1983 when the House of Representatives unanimously passed the resolution, introduced by the Congressional Black Caucus, asking President Reagan to designate September as “National Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month.” The President signed the resolution in August of 1983.
For educational materials to display during Sickle Cell Awareness Month call (800) 421-8453 or e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on activities sponsored by your local SCDAA Member Organization.