Marquette to host sickle cell disease awareness event

June 16, 2021

event flyerMILWAUKEE — Marquette University will host a virtual photo exhibition titled “During COVID, Sickle Cell Disease Continues,” from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Friday, June 18.

The exhibition will feature select photographs taken by young adults living with sickle cell disease to give attendees a better understanding of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on those with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is an inherited group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down, which leaves a shortage of healthy red blood cells and impeded blood flow causing pain, infections, and fatigue.

dora clayton-jones headshot“This event, which will happen on the eve of World Sickle Cell Day, is an important opportunity for both  sickle cell warriors to share their stories and for those viewing their powerful images to gain a different perspective of those living with sickle cell disease and how they have been uniquely affected during the pandemic,” said Dr. Dora Clayton-Jones, assistant professor in Marquette’s College of Nursing and president of the International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Professional Associates.

The event is organized through Photovoice Project — a community-based research effort to give a voice to young adults affected by sickle cell disease. 

Sharonda Sikes will lead the event. Sikes is the founder and lead advocate of The Red Chair Project, an organization that provides support, education, and empowerment for those living with sickle cell disease, as well as their families and communities. Over the years, Sikes has hosted numerous concerts, photo shoots and other projects to increase sickle cell awareness.

The event, which will take place on Zoom, is free and open to the public.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Shelby Williamson in the Office of Marketing and Communication at or (262) 441-0516. 

About Shelby Williamson

Shelby Williamson

Shelby is a senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Shelby at (414) 288-6712 or