Monday, June 19, 2017 12:00PM—Homestead Councilman Jimmie L. Williams, III announced State funding for a sickle cell disease research clinic expected to open in Homestead and serve patients of South Dade.
The $224,000 was approved in the past legislative session and will be distributed soon to the Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research (FSCDR), the intended recipient of the funds.
Councilman Williams was joined by fellow Homestead Councilmen Elvis Maldonado and Larry Roth, as well as Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and representatives from the offices of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Florida State Representative Holly Raschein, Florida State Senator Anitere Flores, Florida State Representative Kionne McGhee and U.S. Congressman Carlos Curbelo.
Homestead resident Lawanda Bragg, whose daughter suffers from the disease, thanked supporters Monday. She currently drives to Miami Children’s Hospital for her daughter’s treatments.
Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting an estimated 100,000 Americans, with the highest number of patients living in Florida concentrated in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The disease affects 1 in 500 African-Americans and one in every 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic-Americans.
The sickle cell gene was first introduced to the U.S. in 1789 via the transatlantic slave trade. The disease has a significant impact on quality of life, causing both physical and economic hardship, and often contributing to early death.
Councilman Williams also hosted a blood drive Monday in the northwest parking lot of Homestead City Hall.