Sickle Cell Disease affects 1 in 500 African Americans, whose life expectancy average is 45 years, and it costs the U.S. approximately $475 million per year in hospitalizations. Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited blood disease, which causes severe pain, damage to vital organs, and for some death in childhood or early adulthood. There is no common cure for Sickle Cell.
As of 2011, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes; 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. This is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood and for which there is no cure. Treatment involves expensive medication and equipment, which is often unaffordable without insurance. Those diagnosed without insurance are left marginalized and often end up with more complications than would occur with proper treatment. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, amputation, and death are among common and possible complications for those with diabetes.
Sickle Cell consistently receives terribly little to no federal funding for research and treatment facilities. The community is constantly struggling to keep clinics & hospitals open that specialize in SCD care & treatment. There is little emphasis or focus on the illness in the educational settings and we have an unacceptably low amount of medical professionals properly trained in SCD care & treatment. Many of us think it is no coincidence that this illness affects, almost solely Blacks and Hispanics.
Diabetes is most dangerous when left untreated. Without medical insurance it can be impossible for many to keep their diabetes under control and treated, when necessary medication and testing supplies can cost thousands of dollars monthly without insurance.
Healthcare equality does not exist; everyone involved with this project would agree: this is not ok!
On June 14, 2012 TheSeKondElement, accompanied by music director and drummer, Bettis, will embark on a national tour with supporting musicians in an effort to help spread the word about the two illnesses that affect them most. TheSeKondElement was diagnosed with Sickle Cell at 2-days-old and Bettis with Type I Diabetes at age 10.
The tour will start in New Orleans and culminate in San Francisco, where TheSeKondElement has been invited to perform on SF Pride’s Main Stage this year on June 24. We will be performing at traditional & non-traditional venues including hospitals in an effort to not only entertain but also spread the message of global equality & shine a light on these two illnesses that desperately need the spotlight.
Equality is a must if we are to ensure that everyone has a good quality of life. Without equality our world will forever be unbalanced, leaving the marginalized suffering. Help us help others!
Tour Dates & Cities to be announced soon! If you would like to see us in your city contact tour manager, Carlyn Worthy: carlyn@TeamT2E.com