Holistic Care for Individuals, Families and Communities

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May 19, 2022

African American Mental Health and Wellness (AMEN) team is collaborating with KAZI FM 88.7 in producing a radio series to highlight the importance of addressing mental health and physical wellness in the African American community. The monthly series will feature AMEN team members from the School of Nursing, leaders from Mt. Zion Baptist and Rehoboth Baptist churches, and community organizations who provide mental health resources and support in Travis County. 

Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation: Holistic Care for Individuals, Families and Communities

May 18, 2022 Podcast:

Audio file

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Linda Thomas Wade, the President & CEO of the Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation. The Sickle Cell Association serves hundreds of families affected by sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait and other chronic conditions. They provide support, education, and effective programming to improve the quality of life for families affected, while raising awareness to find a universal cure. Linda and the Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation were honored to receive an exclusive invitation to meet with President Barack Obama in his first 100 days in the Oval Office. They were the only sickle cell community-based organization in the country bestowed with this honor.

Sickle cell disease is a life-threatening, hereditary blood disease that attacks red blood cells in the body. The misshaped cells can clump together and cause a pain crisis, and there is no universal cure. Ms. Wade explains that individuals with sickle cell disease need to stay hydrated and often require blood transfusions and frequent hospitalizations. Sickle cell disease can affect anyone, but primarily affects people of color, including African Americans, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and people of Mediterranean descent.

Ms. Wade became an ardent advocate while supporting her husband, who had sickle cell disease. When Ms. Wade moved to Texas, she noticed the lack of resources and wanted to raise awareness and advocate for those impacted by this disease. This sparked her to start the Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation, which now offers certified case management, referrals, health counseling, limited financial assistance, camps for kids, transitional camps, adult programs, weekly support meetings, and Warriors in Prayer for those who rely on spiritual healing. The Foundation prides itself on offering a holistic approach and strives to help the entire family, not just the individual with the disease.

Ms. Wade adds that anyone can get tested for sickle cell disease. The Foundation has partnered with the Black Men’s Health Clinic to provide education and help test individuals in the area. The test for sickle cell disease is called a hemoglobin electrophoresis and takes approximately two weeks to receive the results at no cost. Individuals with sickle cell disease can improve their quality of life by staying hydrated, which aids in oxygenating the blood. Rest is also crucial to help avoid a sickle cell crisis. Volunteering, donations, and spreading the word about sickle cell disease can help to someday find a cure.

The Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation is a non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. To learn more, please visit the Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation website.

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