The future sickle cell anemia documentary film (tentatively titled) Crisis And Tribulations will explore the social issues related to the disease. Living with the illness and combating stereotypes, pain mismanagement, accusations of opioid abuse and drug-seeking behavior. Strange, these issues plaguing the sickle community have almost nothing to do with improving a debilitating disease that on average, kills the afflicted before they turn 50.
How does this occur? That the proper treatment of sickle cell anemia takes a back seat to the societal ills impacting it. In America, there is only one mechanism so pervasive that it infects everything it touches, even medicine, and that, of course, is America’s original sin – racism.
Studies on racial disparities in medicine illustrate there is a problem seldom acted on or even discussed in the medical community. Crisis And Tribulations will examine the effect of Implicit bias on sickle cell disease.
Scientifically, sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that can affect all racial groups. Manifested from a genetic mutation to protect humans from malaria, SCA thrived in areas where high rates of malaria existed. So as an example, despite race, the middle east and the Mediterranean, among many others, are places where you will find sickle cell disease. Still, beyond science, there is the societal perception that sickle cell is a black disease.
The only reason this belief has merit when we know better scientifically is SCA racial perception has real-life consequences. Unfortunately, racism against blacks, systematic or otherwise, bleeds into sickle cell disease research, funding, treatment and, medical care. Making sickle cell disease the last stigma carrying illness in medicine since HIV education finally eroded the HIV/AIDS ignorance of the 80’s and early 90’s.
The film explores why these challenges exist, the intersection of race and medicine. And how SCA is the only disease In America that is forced to contend with these social issues when seeking treatment. This film will examine the lives of several people in the sickle cell disease community while speaking to medical professionals about the racial disparities that exist within medicine.
We encourage everyone to follow the documentary here at Crisis Over blog as it progresses from pre-production to the release date. We will keep the community informed and involved. We will highlight upcoming filming, interviews, and fundraising, and the film’s release. If it relates to the film, you can find it here.
We also are asking for volunteers to contact us if they are willing to share their sickle story with the world. If you have something to say, we are here to listen and document. Particularly, if you have felt marginalized or discriminated against because of SCA, we would love to speak to you. Feel free to leave your info in our Contact section in the upper right corner of the blog and we will be in touch.