National Sickle Cell Awareness Day

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, this coming Monday, June 19, will be our sixth year of celebrating National Sickle Cell Awareness Day in Canada. Canada is the first and only country to recognize a National Sickle Cell Awareness Day. This day means a great deal to those within the sickle cell community. It is a wonderful way to come together and to share their stories and to highlight the important work they have been doing to move the needle forward regarding sickle cell disease.

I have been so privileged to hear their stories and share their journeys. I have met so many wonderful people who are incredibly dedicated to this work.

There are many events happening this weekend in order to celebrate and to recognize National Sickle Cell Awareness Day. Just this morning, I had the pleasure of attending a breakfast organized by the African Canadian Senate Group. It was a lovely event. I’m always so delighted to meet new people and to see old friends who are so passionate and so motivated in helping the sickle cell community.

On Saturday, I will be attending the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario’s annual Hope Gala and Awards in Toronto. It will be nice to meet with old friends and new after years of postponing and doing things virtually due to the pandemic. I know the community is eager to come together again and to celebrate one another.

Finally, on Monday, June 19, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada will hold a sickle cell conference here, at the University of Ottawa. I am looking forward to taking part in what I am sure will be an educational session.

Honourable senators, I encourage you to seek out the sickle cell communities within your own regions and to further inform yourselves on the disease. A national day of awareness seems so simple and yet it is so very important in bringing groups across the country together to get their message out and to celebrate their incredible efforts and achievements. I would like to wish all Canadians a very happy National Sickle Cell Awareness Day.

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