The Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. has partnered with The Sickle Cell Foundation and SwaggerScan to bring awareness to hereditary diseases such as sickle cell, on Florida A&M University’s campus.
The 2nd Annual “Crystal 19” Health care event will take place on Friday, April 26th at the Quad from 10 a.m. to 5.pm. and will provide free food, music, games and testing to FAMU students in an effort to make sure they know their health status.
“Crystal 19” is an event that encourages students to know their test results and practice safe sex. At the free event, students will be able to access testing for all common STDs and learn about hereditary traits they should be tested for, such as Sickle Cell. Counseling will be available for students as well.
Graduate supply chain management student, Jasmine Street, serves as the SwaggerScan FAMU campus ambassador and event planner for “Crystal 19”. She combined her love for event planning and making health-related resources offered in Tallahassee more accessible to come up with.
“I am so ecstatic about the event being carried out for another year, and many more to come,” Street said.
“Crystal 19” is hoping to have something for everyone to enjoy. Food will be catered by Efferson Student Union and will be available for everyone in attendance. Health-focused vendors such as: YOUFIT, Big Bend Cares and GNC will also be on the quad with games, prizes, and giveaways. Music was provided by DJ Cannibal to keep the energy up and the event going.
This health awareness event allows students to have fun while being socially responsible. According to the American Society of Hematology, Sickle Cell Disease is more common in those of African-American descent and 1 in 12 people carry a sickle cell gene.
CEO and founder of SwaggerScan, Dia Hicks, ensured the event was all about making an individual is informed about the status of their personal health. She felt it was important students not only know their status, but also the status of the person who they may have intimate relations with.
“It is really about making testing accessible,” Hicks said. “Students can walk into an area, where an event is being held and testing is accessible, and that is what we are trying to accomplish. Instead of leading the horse to the water, we are bringing the water to the horse.”
Luckily with the Sickle Cell Foundation partnership and sponsorship, more health agencies have been willing to offer more services to FAMU students and become involved with the health fair now more than ever. Hicks noted The Sickle Cell Foundation has been a big help in order to help this event succeed.
“Fortunately, we have secured another partner that I have thoroughly enjoyed working with, the Sickle Cell Foundation,” Hicks said. “This organization serves as an enabler for those with sickle cell anemia and aims to increase knowledge and understanding of sickle cell disease.”