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COVID-19: Fall 2022 Semester Guidelines

Honor Society Promotes Sickle-Cell Awareness

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The Alpha Xi Tau Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has been promoting sickle-cell awareness this October. On Oct. 6, Instructor Maria Kriska spoke to the chapter about the disease, how people get it, and what the symptoms are. Afterwards, chapter members made sickle-cell awareness posters, which they have posted around the campus.

The chapter learned that sickle-cell anemia is an inherited disease that affects the shape of red blood cells. Normally, these important oxygen-carrying cells are disk-shaped; however, this disease makes them crescent-shaped, hence the name, sickle-cell. These oddly shaped cells can get clogged in the blood vessels and cause extreme pain. Other symptoms include swelling of the hands and feet, frequent infections, and vision problems as well as anemia.

It is important for people exhibiting these symptoms to get tested as soon as possible. Sickle-cell anemia can be managed, and for some children and teenagers, stem cell transplants might be a cure.

Be the Match is a free registry that connects patients with blood disorders like sickle-cell anemia and leukemia to a matching donor for a life-saving transplant. These heroes volunteer online, receive a free test kit in the mail, swab a cheek, and send it back. It could be several months or years to be matched with a patient, but donating is free and has very few risks with tremendous benefits. For more information, go to bethematch.org.

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa and their projects, contact PTK's faculty co-advisors, Dr. Kathleen Fowler at (336) 386-3560 or fowlerk@surry.edu and Kayla Forrest at (336) 386-3315 or forrestkm@surry.edu. You can also follow the local chapter on Facebook @surryPhiThetaKappa or go to www.ptk.org.

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