COLUMBUS, Ga., Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and Aflac, a leader in supplemental insurance sales at U.S. worksites, today announced the company's 2020 annual contribution of $1.5 million to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has been earmarked for the hospital's Sickle Cell Disease Program. The Aflac Cancer Center hosts the largest sickle cell program in the United States. To date, Aflac has given more than $6 million to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center's Sickle Cell Disease Program.
To help promote the need for greater attention to sickle cell disease, Aflac also produced and published an informative video about the disease on its social media channels as part of the company's overall environmental, social and governance (ESG) program, which can be accessed at ESG.Aflac.com.
"The worst thing about sickle cell disease is that it often strikes children, who have to endure tremendous pain and suffering because of it," said Aflac Executive Vice President and General Counsel Audrey Boone Tillman. "To see Aflac's commitment to treating and hopefully someday eradicating this terrible disease that predominantly strikes the African American community is a source of pride for our employees, our independent sales force and all of our stakeholders."
Sickle cell disease is an inherited group of red blood cell disorders that causes significant pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke. Treatments include medications, blood transfusions and, at times, a bone marrow transplant.
"Currently, there is a cure for sickle cell disease through bone marrow transplantation," said Dr. Beatrice Gee, pediatric hematologist/oncologist at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. "The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the largest transplant facilities in the nation, having done more than 100 transplants for sickle cell disease. Aflac Incorporated has donated quite a bit to our program."
In 2019, the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center treated more than 2,050 children with sickle cell disease, including more than 8,700 clinic visits, 3,900 emergency room visits and 2,200 hospitalizations. They also opened a new facility in Aflac's hometown of Columbus, Georgia, making it easier for local families to travel for treatment.
"Aflac's decision to use our voice and our resources by earmarking this $1.5 million in funding specifically to sickle cell disease is something I am extremely proud of because these kids are worth it," Tillman said.
ABOUT AFLAC INCORPORATED Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company, helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for 20 consecutive years. For 14 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2020, Fortune included Aflac Incorporated on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 19th time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Incorporated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency. To learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com.
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