LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects the everyday life of 1 in 365 African Americans. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disease in which the red blood cells lose oxygen, causing them to clog and prevent blood flow to other organs. Doctors say when both parents have the disease or trait, one out of four of their children are likely to be born with the disease as well.

The Sickle Cell Association of South Louisiana makes it their goal to be able to assist people diagnosed with the disease at any moment.

Erin Fulbright of the Sickle Cell Association of South Louisiana says the organization is a vital source for its members, often times connecting patients to help they may not have gotten on their own.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health about 200 children diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease are right here in Lafayette. The organization tries to reach patients around the age of 12 or 13 to teach them how to advocate for the best possible healthcare.

Symptoms of a sickle cell crisis vary, but can be caused by overheating, cold, or rainy weather. Some go years or months without having a crisis.

Patients are encouraged to reach out for support whether it be financial or medical. The organization will host a Sickle Cell Walk and Blood Drive on Sept. 24.

Courtesy of The Sickle Cell Association of South Louisiana