National tour kicks-off June 19 at the United Nations
NEW YORK, June 17 /PRNewswire/ --
WHAT: The Be Sickle Smart "Empowerment Day" national tour begins in New York City in partnership with local SCDAA chapters - Sickle Cell/Thalassemia Patients Network (SCTPN) and Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network (QSCAN). The event educates those living with sickle cell disease (SCD) about the risk for iron overload due to blood transfusions. The event will include: -- Educational seminars with Dr. James T. D'Olimpio M.D. FACP, Director, Supportive and Palliative Programs in Hematology and Oncology, Monter Cancer Center of North Shore University Hospital -- Performances by Ruben Studdard with meet and greet -- Debut and autographed copies of "Just Like Me" a children's book authored by pediatric nurse practitioner, Tina Taylor (available in English and Spanish) -- Free, on-site iron overload screenings (serum ferritin tests) for eligible patients -- Declaration of support from Mayor Bloomberg's office WHO: Interview opportunities with Ruben Studdard, SCDAA spokesperson Dr. Loretta Jordan, Dr. D'Olimpio, Tina Taylor, and a person living with SCD WHEN: Friday, June 19, 2009; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. -- Ruben Studdard performances at 12:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. -- Book reading by children's author Tina Taylor and signing at 4:30 p.m. -- Iron Overload Screenings 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 1st Avenue & 47th Street, New York, NY (Across the street from the UN) WHY: Many people with SCD receive blood transfusions to help treat their disease. While transfusions have important benefits, they also can lead to a dangerous buildup of iron called iron overload. Iron overload, characterized by the build-up of excess iron within tissues, can develop after as few as 10 blood transfusions. While the condition may lead to heart failure, diabetes, liver damage, or even affect sexual development in young people or compromise the immune system, many patients don't recognize these symptoms until substantial damage has already occurred. A simple blood test called a serum ferritin test can indicate if someone is at risk for iron overload due to blood transfusions. A serum ferritin level of over 1,000 mcg/L means that a person may be at risk for iron overload and should talk with their physicians about treatment options. More than 70,000 people in the U.S. have SCD, and one in 100 Hispanic Americans has the sickle cell trait. Be Sickle Smart is a nationwide grassroots health-education program aimed at increasing awareness of iron overload among people living with sickle cell disease. In association with the National SCDAA, local chapters of the SCDAA and patient advocacy groups, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is proud to sponsor of the Be Sickle Smart "Empowerment Day" national tour. For additional information about sickle cell disease and iron overload, a list of tour dates, or to download and listen to Ruben Studdard's song, go to www.besicklesmart.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Luz Varela (212) 704-8156; Nupur Raghunath, (212) 704-4435
|SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation|
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