(Memphis) Sickle cell anemia impacts thousands across the Mid-South, and now big changes are coming to help those affected.
Tuesday, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee said Memphis will lead the nation in the fight for a cure, and a new center will help do that.
Right now it's just an old beautiful house, but soon the historic Hunt-Phelan home will be transformed into the Sickle Cell Foundation's Campus for Caring in the heart of the medical district.
“We believe a new corporate campus, our campus for caring, will give us the support we need to serve a lot more people,” said the foundation's president, Trevor Thompson.
Thompson says the foundation plans to buy the property and turn it into a center to educate people about sickle cell anemia, and treat some of the 2.5 million Americans living with the gene.
The property will also house people undergoing treatment at the mansion.
It will take two million dollars to pay for the project, and the foundation is fundraising to reach that goal.
“These folks have a life behind their pain they`re not just a disease,” said Dr. Patricia Adams-Graves who is on the foundation board.
Adams-Graves says the new center shows collaboration like never seen before in the fight against sickle cell anemia.
“It can also close down a lot of the gaps behind the scenes that otherwise the healthcare system doesn`t provide for our patients,” said Adams-Graves.
Mayor A C Wharton says Memphis is known as a city for healing, and this new center will continue that legacy.
“What this campus for caring is saying is no, you will no longer have to suffer in silence. You`re not that hidden disease out there,” said Wharton.
The foundation also hopes to develop properties around the Hunt-Phelan home to generate funding for sickle cell services around the country.