Fighting Sickle Cell Disease in the Age of COVID

After-Care for a Life-Saving Procedure May Be Out of Reach For Sickle Cell Patients

(Black PR Wire) Gwinnett County, Georgia — Online Media Interactive, LLC, a local Atlanta technology company announced today that the company is planning a virtual fundraiser to help a client who will soon undergo a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

Dr. Lakiea Bailey

Dr. Lakiea Bailey is Smith’s client, and a research scientist who suffers from sickle cell disease. She and Smith met when she was looking for a company to build a website for her organization, the Sickle Cell Community Consortium, a group of community-based organizations that provide services and support to sickle cell patients around the world.

“I’ve watched as she’s fought tirelessly to support all of the men, women, and children who suffer from sickle cell. She works to educate them, provide resources for them, and to be an advocate for them as a researcher and speaker, all while managing her own battle with the disease.”

At the age of three, Dr. Bailey was diagnosed with sickle cell, but went on to earn a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Doctorate in Molecular Hematology and Regenerative Medicine.  But in recent years, her condition has worsened, and she has spent the last year preparing for a bone marrow transplant that Covid-19, and healthcare disparities are in danger of robbing her of.

Sickle cell patients are more susceptible to the impacts of COVID-19, and have significant challenges managing hospital stays, pain crises, and other treatment as a result of the pandemic, and having a severely compromised immune system during the still raging pandemic puts Dr. Bailey at even more at risk.

In addition, as part of the bone marrow transplant process, Dr. Bailey will be required to move her entire household closer to her treatment center; cancer patients have access to facilities for patients and their families who need to make such a move, but though she’s going to be receiving virtually the same treatment, she has not been able to find one that will take her. Smith decided to get involved when she learned the issues Dr. Bailey has had funding her care.

Bailey has a long road ahead. The transplant she needs is a year-long process during which she’ll be quarantined for months on end, and that will require her to have around-the-clock care. “She needs money, because she’s going to have a lot of expenses and she’s going to need a lot of care”, says Smith.

“A Sickle Cell Hero: A Virtual Fundraiser for Dr. Lakiea Bailey” will be held online beginning February 15th, 2021. The event is being delivered via a website that OMI hopes to use to educate others about sickle cell disease, and 100% of the donations raised will help to fund Dr. Bailey’s bone marrow transplant care. For more information, go to https://www.asicklecellhero.com, or call 770-596-1252.