NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Dozens of people laced up their sneakers for the fifth annual Metro Nashville Sickle Cell 5k Saturday.
The event was held at Shelby Park in east Nashville, and News 2’s Larry Flowers was the grand marshal.
The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee organized the event to raise money and awareness about the disease.
The illness can be very painful for those who suffer from it.
That’s because a normal blood cell is shaped like a full moon, but a sickle cell looks like a crescent moon. It also hardens and clogs the arteries, which leads to intense pain.
“So if you can imagine slamming your hand in a car door and multiply that times 10, and the pain not subsiding for a number a days, that’s a sickle cell crisis. Because oxygen is not going through your body it can affect various parts of your body and organs,” explained Dr. Trevor Thompson, CEO of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee.
There are currently more than 2,000 people in Tennessee living with sickle cell disease, while thousands of others don’t know they carry the sickle cell trait.