Former “American Idol” winner raises awareness of Sickle Cell Disease
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard visited Wilmington Thursday to raise awareness for Sickle Cell Disease and the importance of donating blood to help those suffering from the disease.
Studdard is in town for NC Project LEAD’s Social Economic Summit and White Lotus Awards Gala. He
Sickle Cell is a disease that can lead to a lack of healthy red blood cells and restrict blood flow with painful side-effects. Studdard does not have the disease himself, but a few of his close friends are dealing with Sickle Cell.
The disease is more common in the black community. According to the CDC, one in every 365 African Americans are born with Sickle Cell Disease, and 1 in 13 are born with the sickle cell trait.
Studdard won American Idol in 2003 and uses his platform to raise awareness for the disease.
“It took me until I became an adult to understand why it is important to communities of color, for us not only to get screened and tested, but for us also to donate blood so that the people who are effected by this can have the help and the treatments that they need,” said Studdard.
Novant Health will partner with UNC Chapel Hill to open a specialty clinic for Sickle Cell Disease patients at the Zimmer Cancer Center in Wilmington in October.
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