About Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario
The Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) is a non-profit organization that strives to educate the public on the subject of sickle cell anemia by providing lecturers in schools, giving seminars and disseminating information about this disease. SCAGP provides support for patients living with sickle cell anemia by organizing support groups, advances education by providing scholarships to students with sickle cell anemia, and provides emergency funds for patients with sickle cell disease in dire financial need. Sickle cell disease is a rare inherited blood disorder. It is characterized by the presence of sickle or crescent shaped red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the bloodstream. These abnormally shaped cells become rigid and lodge themselves in the very tiny blood vessels (capillaries) of the peripheral blood system (blood vessels outside of the heart). The capillaries become clogged, preventing the normal flow of oxygen to tissues. Common symptoms associated with sickle cell disease include chest pain, frequent infections, yellowing of the skin (jaundice), and low levels of circulating red blood cells (anemia). Sickle cell disease has several recognized forms including sickle cell anemia, sickle cell hemoglobin C disease and sickle cell thalassemia disease.