MADISON – After the commemoration of the First Responder of the Year ceremony in the State Assembly, the legislature voted to pass Assembly Joint Resolution 82 relating to: recognizing September as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. This bill, authored by Representative Kristina Shelton (D – Green Bay) and many of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle, seeks to bring awareness to sickle cell disease and recognize the national efforts to support and advocate for survivors. On the passage of this bill, Representative Shelton offered a statement:

“Sickle cell disease is an inherited red blood cell disorder that almost exclusively affects communities of color. Because of this, patients living with sickle cell often experience significant barriers and discrimination when seeking and accessing life-saving treatments. Due to a lack of preventative research and funding, there have been limited advances in the care and treatment of the disease resulting in poor patient health outcomes and a lack of overall well-being.

“It is for these very reasons why this resolution is so critically important. Today, the Assembly can take a stand with the warriors living with sickle cell — to raise awareness of programs, treatments, and patient services — to encourage people to donate blood — and to raise awareness of the impact this disease has on hundreds of patients and Wisconsin families – every single day.

“Thank you to my colleagues in the Assembly of all backgrounds for coming together in passing this resolution. Today commemorates a monumental day for all in the sickle cell community – for my sister-in-law, Elodie Ontala-Babongui, and all sickle cell warriors – this one’s for you!”

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