The Tallahassee Community is gearing up for the 34th annual Run/Walk for Sickle Cell Anemia featuring the “Tim Simpkins One Mile Fun Run for All” Saturday at Jake Gaither Recreation Center.
September is the official month for sickle cell anemia. This event is sponsored by the Sickle Cell Foundation Inc. with special assistance of Gulf Winds Track Club.
The 5k run/walk is one of the many fundraisers the Sickle Cell Foundation hosts, with normally 300 to 400 people in attendance.
Executive Director, for the Sickle Cell Foundation inc. in Tallahassee, Velma Stevens says "I'm expecting people to come out. It's a family event. Those who aren't participating in the race, we stand on the sidelines and we cheer those on coming through the finish line."
28-year-old Nasasha Conaway was diagnosed with sickle cell at birth. She was the first poster child for the Tallahassee Sickle Cell Foundation Inc. She is anticipating the annual event.
"I always enjoy the walk. I look forward to participating in it every year because I get to meet new people that face the same day-to-day challenges as me," Conaway said. "It's always a pleasure to give to the foundation because they've done so much for me."
Brittany Randolph is the mother of a 3-year-old boy with sickle cell. She admits that she and her family were worried when her son was diagnosed with this disease that affects over 700,000 people in America.
"We were really scared because we didn't know what to expect or how to care for him. Now since we have been educated on the disease and have had experience taking care of him we know what precautions to take, as well as what actions to take when he is ill," Randolph said.
Randolph and her family have been participating in the 5K run/walk since his diagnosis at birth.
"We've been doing the walk since he was born. My family and I get shirts made every year. I love that this event spreads awareness and supports so many people with sickle cell," Randolph added.
The foundation raised about $15,000 at last years 5k run/walk. The money received in donations goes directly to sickle cell patients in the area. They assist with rent, utilities, prescriptions, doctor appointments and gas vouchers or cards for patients who have to travel for care.
To donate and find more information about this and other events visit www.sicklecellfoundation.org.