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Medical professional reviewing research

Covid-19 vaccines

medical and research advisory committee (MARAC) statement
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MARAC recommends that people with sickle cell disease receive COVID-19 vaccination.

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Meet the Co-Founders &
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Become a STRIVER today!

We’re here for you.

Feel like you’re navigating this disease alone?

Crescent Foundation understands the need for community — a safe space to empower ourselves and each other.

Our Purpose

WE’RE HERE TO TRANSCEND SICKLE CELL DISEASE

We’re here to support our survivors, families, and communities with evidence-based research. We’re here to navigate this disease together while rooting ourselves in the following four core pillars:

Transparency

Open dialogue goes a long way. We aim to form our goals and initiatives based on input from the community. By listening to their needs, we are able to immediately address issues, solve problems and improve their lifestyle.

Innovation

The type of effective treatments and curative therapies that are available to us today have come a long way. But it’s not enough. We want to really know what’s working and what’s not by listening to your first-hand experiences and championing our journeys.

Equity

Our disease is the genetic backbone of so many cures that exist today. So, why not us? Why shouldn’t we have the same opportunities? We want our disease presented on a level playing field and to provide SCD awareness, education, research, and treatment options to anyone who’s willing to listen.

Community

We created this organization because we were looking for one that understood how isolating it can be to deal with this disease. We wanted to create a safe place for all of you to share, grow, and be at peace with yourselves and your newfound support group (that’s us).

Transparency

Open dialogue goes a long way. We aim to form our goals and initiatives based on input from the community. By listening to their needs, we are able to immediately address issues, solve problems and improve their lifestyle.

Innovation

The type of effective treatments and curative therapies that are available to us today have come a long way. But it’s not enough. We want to really know what’s working and what’s not by listening to your first-hand experiences and championing your journeys.

Equity

Our disease is the genetic backbone of so many cures that exist today. So, why not us? Why shouldn’t we have the same opportunities? We want our disease presented on a level playing field and to provide SCD awareness, education, research, and treatment options to anyone who’s willing to listen.

Community

We created this organization because we were looking for one that understood how isolating it can be to deal with this disease. We wanted to create a safe place for all of you to share, grow, and be at peace with yourselves and your newfound support group (that’s us).
Education

Understanding Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood condition. It affects red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body via a protein called hemoglobin.

In people with sickle cell disease, a hemoglobin mutation causes red blood cells to lose oxygen. When red blood cells become deoxygenated, they become rigid and sickle shaped. This causes them to clump together, instead of flowing freely through small blood vessels. This can cause pain crises when oxygen doesn’t reach bone or muscles, or acute chest syndrome and stroke when oxygen doesn’t reach lung and brain tissue.

For those with sickle cell disease (SCD), living a full life is not only possible, it’s within reach. A foundation of healthy habits—whether it’s a well-balanced diet or introducing exercise into your routine—can help to better support your journey with sickle cell. Pair that with quality medical care, and you’re on your way to living an empowered life where you don’t just survive—you thrive.

Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) is not a disease. It means you’ve inherited the sickle cell gene from one of your parents, making you a “carrier.” Although you may not show symptoms of sickle cell disease (SCD), it’s important to determine your status with a simple blood test. From there, think about how having SCT affects you and how SCD can run in your family. Consult your doctor and/or a genetic counselor to discuss your family history and future. When you take these necessary steps, you are key in helping change the trajectory of the SCT community at large.

Treating those with sickle cell disease (SCD) requires a combination of skills. From addressing patient concerns with compassion and urgency to managing symptoms with a personalized treatment program, you are a key figure in the life of a patient with SCD. Often, children and adults with SCD rely on emergency rooms during pain crises. For many, this is unfortunately their only option for healthcare, especially when a patient has no access to a provider who specializes in SCD. You can change that.

Caring for a loved one with sickle cell disease (SCD) is both admirable and taxing. You are likely shouldering financial obligations and providing emotional support at a moment’s notice. Because of this immense dedication, caregivers like you are at risk of feeling isolated and all-consumed. But, know that you are not alone in this journey. Reach out to your provider to discuss ways you can cope or find support within an online group for caregivers.

You play a vital role in the life of a student with sickle cell disease (SCD). In order to support students with SCD, it’s important to educate yourself on the background of the disease. Taking the time to understand SCD overall can help you provide the best academic outcome for your students. For example, students with SCD need access to water throughout the school day to help prevent pain episodes, which also means they’ll need frequent bathrooms breaks. These small accommodations can make a world of difference for a child with SCD. To learn more about how you can help, take a look at.

Supporters like you are needed to make systemic changes in the way the world views and treats the sickle cell disease (SCD) community. Simply pledging support is not enough. Authentic allyship that starts with equity, equality and justice, is a lifelong commitment and requires you to step outside your comfort zone to amplify the voices of our community. Advocating for the SCD community can take many forms—whether that’s donating, educating, or volunteering. Find your lane and occupy it. #blacklivesmatter

Our Initiatives

What we're doing

Webinar SeriesBridging The Gap

Transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare can be a challenging and frustrating process. We offer a free hour-long webinar that highlights healthcare transition topics for SCD patients between the ages of 18-24. Topics we cover include but aren’t limited to:

  • How to effectively advocate for your needs during clinical visits and hospital stays
  • How to work with health insurance providers
  • How to create and reach health and wellness goals
  • How to address your healthcare needs at work 

Participants who’ve successfully completed the webinar series are invited to attend our Transition with Power Party, a yearly event that celebrates SCD patients and their accomplishments. Subscribe to our newsletter to participate in this webinar series.

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Medical Student Program

One Gene, One Life

There’s only so much you can learn from a textbook. Our immersion program is designed to allow medical students to have real-life conversations with SCD patients – and learn how this disease truly impacts their lives daily. We’re here to empower the next generation of physicians to be more compassionate toward their patients and knowledgeable about our invisible disease.

Subscribe to our mailing list to learn more about this program.

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Community Health Worker Program

Crescent Cares

Crescent Cares provides psychosocial and case management support to individuals with SCD. Our Community Health Workers (CHWs) are community liaisons who support patients and families in better managing their medical and social needs until goals are reached as defined by the individual. This includes making home and community visits in person, virtually or telephonic, connecting families to community resources, and supporting the communication of the individual’s needs with the healthcare team.

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Donate

Support the Mission

Crescent Cares

Your donation supports the growth and development or our Crescent Cares Program that provides direct community-based services and care coordination for survivors living with sickle cell disease in the Philadelphia & Delaware Valley. We appreciate your support!

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Bridging the Gap

Your donation goes toward our online programming that teaches patients how to smoothly transition and navigate through the adult care system. Thanks for your support!

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One Gene, One Life

Your donations helps us fund our programming to empower the next generation of physicians to be more compassionate toward their patients and knowledgeable about our invisible disease.

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Donation Total: $25.00

Founders

Our Team

Kyle A. Smith

Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer

Tahirah Austin-Muhammad

Co-Founder, Chief Operations Officer

Ediomi Utuk-Lowery

Co-Founder, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
  • Renee Cecil – Secretary
  • Charles Adams – Treasurer
  • Khalilah Asbury – Chairperson
  • Ahema Asare – Board Member
  • Catherine Hamilton, BSN – Board Member
  • Trudy Tchume-Johnson – Board Member
  • Kim Smith-Whitley, MD
  • Cynthia Norris, MD
  • Angela Ellison, MD
Raw & Honest Moments

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