ATLANTA, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the continued public health threat posed by COVID-19, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. (SCFG), today announced the cancellation of its 41st annual Sickle Cell Road Race/Walk scheduled for September 12, 2020 in the City of East Point, GA. This popular, charitable event is recognized as one of Georgia's longest, consecutively-running road races. Since its inception, the Georgia sickle cell race has supported the Foundation and its sickle cell-related (SC) activities. The City of East Point, Fulton County Government, Novartis, Greater Atlanta American Red Cross, Georgia Tech, Pfizer, and UPS have served as pillars for this community wellness challenge.
"During this pandemic, we follow the guidance of science and err on the safety side of patients," said SCFG Board Chair Chuck Douglas. "Since sickle cell patients, like those in my family, have underlying conditions which can complicate if not compound a compromised immune system, we must be vigilant and protect one another. Sickle cell patients are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus. It is in their best interests that we cancel the 2020 sickle cell race."
SCD is a condition which afflicts newborns and persons of all ages. African Americans and people of color are disproportionately impacted by SCD which unfortunately is characterized by pain episodes and severe organ damage. The road race supports SCFGs signature program, Camp New Hope and traditional services such as Sickle Cell testing, education and counseling. Today, SCFG services include Telemedicine; Primary and Specialty Provider Services; Non-Specialty Sickle Cell Provider Education; and Transition Assistance for Young Adult SCD patients.
Since the pandemic began, the SCFG team has utilized the mobile clinic and Telemedicine to assure safe, patient access to primary and specialty health care including non-emergency appointments. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, SCFG is meeting the COVID-19 challenge by reducing SCD patient reliance on hospitals and emergency rooms. This is achieved by outfitting patient households with the technology and training needed to fully participate in both distance learning and in SCFG's Telemedicine Program. For families with food concerns, SCFG is processing food stamp applications by telephone and providing gift cards for food and prescription purchases, when available.
The annual sickle cell road race was launched over four decades ago with the South Fulton Running Partners, Inc. -- one of the nation's premiere African American track clubs. Race Director Wilson, himself a lifelong member, explained that race registrants have three options to address the race fees paid: register for 2021, request a refund, or donate it. Participants can respond by USPS or email to [email protected]. Just write FEE in the subject line or on the outside envelope.