Our mission at L. D. Barksdale Sickle Cell Foundation is to optimize the quality of health care and the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by the presence of Sickle Cell Anemia Disease.
The L.D Barksdale Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation was organized in 1974 by Mrs. L.D. Barksdale, a native Spartanburg educator who saw a need and became an advocate for individuals with Sickle Cell Disease in Spartanburg County.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a serious condition that is linked to painful conditions that affect millions of people across the globe, including the United States. Usually, this blood-related health disorder is inherited from one member of a family to another, whereby an individual produces excess hemoglobin, thus causing the development of rigid sickle-shaped cells. Particularly, the main problem caused by the disease revolves around the lifespan of these cells as they tend to die early. This short lifespan does not match the constant generation of new cells, and hence, it attracts health problems associated with the shortage of red blood cells. SCD causes severe pain to patients as oxygen flow in the body system is also affected drastically. Some of the common complications caused by sickle cell disease include damage to organs, acute chest syndrome, stroke, and premature deaths.
SCD is a major problem society as it affects people in different fronts. First, the disease results in a series of health complications that inflict pain to patients. Second, the complex system that seeks to provide care for the people does not achieve the expected results. These challenges often lead to premature deaths among patients, thus contributing to additional burden of the healthcare system. The cost and demand for sickle cell disease treatment are also high and unaffordable to most people. Normally, they are forced to access a wide range of medications, as the illness affects multiple organs. Therefore, it necessitates the cooperation of different partners to address the problem. Donations from companies, individuals, and government agencies will play a significant role in ensuring that patients with SCD receive the necessary medical attention that would extend their lifespan. These resources will also be used to provide facilities that will improve access to care and research concerning the sickle cell disease.
Today, there is no cure for Sickle Cell Disease. In fact, sickle cell disease is the only chronic disorder with a decreased life expectancy. There are currently four foundations in the state of South Carolina, each one being an advocate for all individuals and families impacted by Sickle Cell Disease.
Since July 1987, in South Carolina, all newborns are screened for sickle cell before leaving the hospital. This foundation serves fifteen counties, and we travel to each health department to provide trait counseling to the parents having newborns with sickle cell trait. This process can be frustrating, as often times parents do not come to receive the information. It is through the parents that we can provide education, and continue to advocate, so that one day we will see the demise of this silent killer.
Upstate South Carolina: Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, Spartanburg, and Union
Midlands South Carolina: Chester, Edgefield, Saluda, and York