Bo Gilliam hosts fundraiser for advancement in sickle cell treatment

Bo Gilliam hosts fundraiser for advancement in sickle cell treatment
May 04
12:58 2022

Sickle cell anemia is a rare disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Americans and is more prevalent in the African American community. Bo Gilliam aims to bring more awareness to the disorder by holding a fundraiser this Saturday, May 7, from 3-7 p.m. at the Honeypoo Acres Ranch, 2032 Mahaney Rock Road in Yadkinville. 

This event will be a Kentucky Derby themed semi-formal event and will include music, dancing, food, games, prizes, guest speakers and more. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased through Eventbrite.

“The main objective is to keep sickle cell in people’s minds, especially young people,” said Gilliam. “We are focused on awareness, research and finding a cure for sickle cell. Sometimes sickle cell gets pushed under the rug.”

Gilliam says he is committed to the sickle cell cause because it afflicts several individuals in his family and he has seen firsthand how they had to suffer through the disorder.

“Back in the day, I saw my brother suffer with the disorder and they didn’t have the knowledge that they have now, so I kind of grew up with it,” said Gilliam. “My great-grandfather had the trait and he passed it on down to my grandfather and my mother passed it down to me and my brother, who had sickle cell because my brother’s father had the trait. 

“I passed it down to my daughter and my daughter passed it on down to my granddaughter. That’s how it moves around through genetics.”

Sickle cell disease is an inherited group of disorders where red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells and can block blood flow, causing pain and other symptoms.

“It can cause paralysis, body aches, muscle aches, and that is because the red blood cells are sickled and they can’t go through the veins properly, so that causes oxygen flow to be a factor,” he said. “Even people who have the trait suffer. I wondered for years why I couldn’t run for long distances and I figured out this was why. And it also affects your organs.”

The proceeds from the event will go toward the advancement in treatment for children and adults suffering from sickle cell.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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