Emmy Award-winning NFL broadcaster Solomon Wilcots and Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc recently announced the launch of Sideline Sickle Cell, an educational campaign designed to raise awareness and drive discussion about recent and future treatment innovations for sickle cell disease (SCD) among physicians, patients and their family members as well as other members of the SCD community in the United States.
The campaign launch, which coincides with the start of National Minority Health Month, will include a national media tour led by Wilcots followed by a series of local market media relations activities and town hall-type meetings that bring together members of the disease community. Sideline Sickle Cell event markets will include Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Atlanta and others as the campaign rolls out in 2019. People can follow the campaign and join the conversation by connecting with @EmmausLifeSci on Twitter and using the hashtag #SidelineSickleCell. Patients and family members are encouraged to sign up for campaign updates, including meeting locations and dates.
Wilcots is an internationally acclaimed NFL television and radio analyst who currently works with SiriusXM and Sky Sports. Across six seasons in the NFL, Wilcots played for the Bengals, Steelers and Vikings. In 1989, Wilcots played for the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.
Wilcots, who has experienced firsthand the impact of SCD on friends, family and teammates said, “Sickle cell is a devastating disease that has left an indelible mark on the African-American community. I’ve seen family members and friends beset by pain and unable to live full lives. But there is hope because of innovative treatments. I want to use my voice to bring awareness to sickle cell disease and the therapies that can provide relief right now. I encourage other athletes, celebrities and thought leaders to join me in shining a spotlight on sickle cell disease, because together we can help take this illness out of the game.”
SCD is an inherited, genetic blood disorder characterized by rigid and misshaped red blood cells. Patients with SCD often suffer from painful episodes, called “crises,” that occur when sickled red blood cells block blood vessels and blood flow. Sickle cell crises deprive the body’s tissues and organs of oxygen, which can cause long-term tissue and organ damage. SCD is a significant unmet medical need, affecting approximately 100,000 patients in the U.S., and disproportionately affects people of African descent. An estimated 1-in-365 African-American children is born with sickle cell disease.
Yutaka Niihara, M.D., M.P.H., CEO and founder of Emmaus Life Sciences said, “There has been great progress in the development of new therapies for sickle cell disease. We have developed a prescription drug for sickle cell disease — Endari®, specifically, it is indicated to reduce the acute complications of sickle cell disease in adult and pediatric patients five years of age and older. However, the availability and pipeline of treatments like ours are not always known by patients in need. The mission of this campaign is to raise awareness of both current and potential future therapies.”
Source: PR Newswire