7th Annual Walk With the Stars & Move-A-Thon Kicks Off July 11 to Fight SCD

BY MARY CHAPMAN

While it will be entirely virtual this year, the 7th Annual Walk With the Stars & Move-A-Thon is taking place July 11 to raise awareness and money to fight sickle cell disease (SCD).

Presented by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), the signature 5K national event is aimed at finding better treatments and a cure for SCD, a group of disorders that affect hemoglobin, which is the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body.

This year’s event adds a new focus and element — movement. The SCDAA is encouraging participants to get in motion at home to support research, advocacy, and heightened SCD awareness.

“Once again, we have added a new theme by incorporating different types of movement because we’re on the move for sickle cell! You, your friends and family members can participate in this wonderful event not only by walking and running, but also with jump roping, hula hooping, all while safe at home,” the organization stated on the event webpage. “We look forward to all the fun and new ways individuals can support this event by moving to fight sickle cell disease.”

Event proceeds will support the organization’s efforts to battle the disease and its complications. The event last year raised more than $140,000; the goal this year is $150,000. More than $696,000 has been raised since the event’s inception.

For sharing events on social media, the hashtag is #MoveForACure.

Although event participants are welcome to raise funds through sponsorships of individual walks and runs in local communities, the organization also is encouraging the formation of virtual teams.

“Collect donations in honor of or in memory of a loved one, and join us,” the organization suggests. “We’ll support you every step of the way. United with every walker, runner, and shaker and mover, together we can raise the necessary funds which will get us that much closer to finding a cure.”

The SCDAA offers a toolkit for team captains, who will be given their own customizable fundraising social media page. The toolkit includes an event fact sheet, checklist, team registration information, and a team captain event priority timeline.

Visit this site for other ways to raise funds, including bringing lunch to work for a week and donating savings to the SCDAA, selling space on team T-shirts, and hosting (virtual) auctions or game nights.

Walk registration is $25. The virtual event will kick off live on Facebook and via Zoom July 11 at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Established in 1971, the SCDAA advocates for SCD patients to improve quality of life, raise awareness and help find a cure. Nationwide, the organization has 49 SCDAA chapters.

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