MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® will receive the $1 million Legacy Grant that will help advance three sickle cell disease programs from The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, one of the nation's oldest and largest African-American women's volunteer service organizations.
St. Jude has been researching and treating children with sickle cell disease since the hospital opened in 1962, and was the first institution to cure a patient through the use of a bone marrow transplant. Sickle cell disease is the most commonly inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting about 100,000 Americans. Sickle cell disease is more common in people of African descent; Hispanics; and people of Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian and Mediterranean descent. Approximately one out of every 365 African-American babies born in this country has the disease.
More than 15,000-women strong, The Links, Incorporated, is committed to enriching the culture and ensuring the economic survival of African-Americans and other persons of African ancestry through a variety of programs, including several that address chronic health disparities in black communities.
"Advancing the care and ultimately, the cure for sickle cell disease has been at the heart of St. Jude since the hospital opened," said James R. Downing, M.D., president and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He will receive the award on behalf of the hospital.
"We are completely honored and humbled to be the recipient of The Links Foundation's Legacy Grant and, with their support, look forward to building upon our history of successfully treating sickle cell disease," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "The first research grant ever received by St. Jude was for the study of sickle cell disease and over the course of the last 50 years, St. Jude has become one of the largest pediatric sickle cell programs in the country and we won't stop until no child suffers from this terrible disease."
The Legacy Grant will support expansion of three St. Jude clinical efforts, including studies designed to increase knowledge of cognitive deficits in children with sickle cell disease, the development of a community health worker education program to counsel parents of infants with sickle cell disease in Nigeria and an age-appropriate mobile app to help patients develop adequate self-care and disease literacy.
"Today, our members across the world stand in full support of our goal to advance research and treatment for sickle cell disease through this Legacy Grant to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said Glenda Newell-Harris, M.D., National President of The Links Foundation, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated. "St. Jude is an organization whose mission and vision align with ours when it comes to the health of African-American children, and we greatly admire its deep and longstanding commitment to children with life-threatening diseases like sickle cell disease."
St. Jude is the fifth organization to receive the Legacy Grant from The Links Foundation. Previous award recipients include the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Civil Rights Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
The Executive Council and members of The Links Foundation Board will be on the campus of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis on May 3rd to celebrate the awarding of the Legacy Grant.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook (facebook.com/stjude), following St. Jude on Twitter (@stjude) and subscribing to its YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/MyStJude).
About The Links Foundation, Incorporated
The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $25 million dollars in charitable contributions since its founding. Working closely with its sponsors and supporters, The Links, Incorporated is focused on creating transformational programming and impacting lives in communities of color in Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 15,000 professional women of color in 286 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation's oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. For more information, visit linksinc.org.
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SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital