Tammy Smith, a proud mother of her daughter, Precious, has been a strong advocate for sickle cell awareness. Her Alton walk is Saturday.ALTON - Tammy Smith has been an advocate for sickle cell awareness for 10 years and is the founder of A Precious Organization. The organization and the walk both have a special place in her heart.

Tammy’s 10th Annual Walk for Sickle Cell is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Rock Spring Park in Alton near the tennis court. Registration starts at 8 a.m. It is a one-mile walk up the sidewalk of College Avenue and through the park on paved roads.

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Tammy's daughter, Precious, was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at a young age and nearly died before she was diagnosed. Sickle Cell Disease causes red blood cells to morph into a crescent, or sickle, shape and get stuck in small blood vessels. This blockage inhibits blood flow, which deprives tissues of oxygen and causes severe pain and tissue damage. In this region, Tammy and her daughter, Precious, have helped raise thousands of dollars to assist others living with the disease.

Alton Mayor David Goins will read a proclamation before the walk starts.

“We will award a scholarship to a young man headed to college who is living with sickle cell disease,” she said. “The Black and White Band will perform live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. We would like everyone to bring their family, friends, and lawn chairs to come out and enjoy music and support families living with sickle cell.”

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Sickle cell diseases are found here in the community and are also worldwide in individuals from Greece, Italy, Syria, Southern India, the Caribbean Island, South and Central America, and more.

“Our organization continues to enhance the quality of life for individuals living with sickle cell and their families. Our goal is to raise awareness," Smith said. "It is through your support, dedication, and awareness that educational training, support groups, health fairs, emergency assistance, and summer camps for our youth are able to happen.”

Tammy’s daughter, Precious, has worked with her within the organization since its inception and has been an ardent supporter.

For more information, contact (618) 558-6466 or (618) 484-5731. Visit the website to register and donate to the cause at apreciousorganization.org.

The fees for the sickle cell fundraiser are $30 for individuals and $15 for children. All profits benefit the Precious Organization for Sickle Cell.

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