Biotech Firms to be Honored During 7th Annual William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund "Rockin' the Red" Event in Baltimore

Top Quote The William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, Inc. will hold its 7th Annual Fundraiser - "Rockin' the Red for Sickle Cell - on September 20, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Legg Mason World Headquarters in Baltimore. GlycoMimetics, Inc. and OrphageniX, Inc. will be honored during the evening, and a portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Sickle Cell Center for Adults at Johns Hopkins. End Quote
  • Baltimore, MD (1888PressRelease) September 19, 2012 - Biotech Firms to be honored during 7th Annual Fundraiser
    Rockin' the Red Event to Benefit Hopkins Sickle Cell Center

    When William E. Proudford passed away in 2004, his family knew they wanted to continue his legacy by helping others. Mr. Proudford had a number of serious health challenges; but sickle cell disease proved to be the most difficult - and the one his children knew the least about. Dr. Karen Proudford, who heads the charitable organization named after her father, and her siblings knew that their dad would not want to see anyone suffer the way he did. The family established a non-profit organization in 2005, and has worked since then to raise awareness about sickle cell disease.

    Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic blood disorder in the United States. An estimated 100,000 Americans have the disease, and over 2 million Americans carry the sickle cell trait. Surprisingly, sickle cell disease is still often overlooked - and those living with the disease report being discounted, ignored and disrespected by the health professionals, employers, school officials and others in the community who don't understand the often unpredictable, intermittent, debilitating pain episodes - called "pain crises" - that characterize the disease.

    The William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund holds its key activities in September, which is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Each year, a different segment of the community is honored for its work in advancing sickle cell efforts. This year, the "Unsung Heroes" are biotech firms.

    Biotech may hold the key to significant improvement in treating or curing sickle cell, and the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund is honoring two biotech firms that are engaged in cutting-edge research. GlycoMimetics (of Gaithersburg) has developed the GMI-1070 drug candidate, which is in Phase 2 clinical trials at nearly 20 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. OrphageniX holds patents on "gene-repair" technology targeted at fixing the abnormal gene that causes sickle cell disease.

    "We applaud the important research both of these firms are conducting, as well as their commitment to working with a rare disease," stated Marc Proudford, Vice President of the Fund. The fundraiser theme this year is "Rockin' the Red," and is aimed at celebrating the advances being made in treating sickle cell disease. Fox 45 Morning Anchor, Patrice Sanders, will emcee the event, which will include music by the Baltimore School of Rock.

    Proceeds benefit the Sickle Cell Center for Adults at Johns Hopkins and the Fund's artSPEAKS program. Last year, the Proudford Fund completed a $100,000 pledge to the duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. They are now turning their attention to the important work being done at Hopkins - which has the only facility in Maryland dedicated to the care of adults with sickle cell disease.

    Honorary Chairpersons for the event include U.S. Senator Barbara Miksulski (Maryland), U.S. Senator Tom Carper (Delaware), U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (Maryland), Governor Jack Markell (Delaware), U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (Maryland), U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (Maryland), Former U.S. Congressman Kweisi Mfume (Maryland), Maryland State Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell, Maryland State Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, and Maryland State Delegate Mary Washington.

    Brown Capital Management, Pfizer, the Maryland iHomes Network, and the Proudford Family are Event Sponsors for the evening. Thompson Hospitality is a Gold Sponsor, the American Red Cross-Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region Blood Services Division, GlycoMimetics, Legg Mason, and Nemours duPont Hospital for Children are Silver Sponsors. BIO - the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, CareFirst Blue Cross BlueShield, Delaware State University, Delaware Technology Park, OrphageniX, Joan and Bert Hash, Jr., Johns Hopkins Medicine, LaFarge North America, MetLife - Office of James Allotey, Toyota Financial Services, and Wells Fargo are Bronze Sponsors.

    Support from Honorary Chairpersons and from the business community has been crucial to the success of sickle cell efforts in this area. "Many of these firms have employees who are affected by sickle cell, though the employees may be reluctant to talk about it. Our sponsors are helping to end the silence about sickle cell, which is a necessary step if we're to support families, raise funds and find a cure," says the Fund's President Dr. Karen Proudford. Individual seats for the Rockin' the Red event can be purchased by visiting the Fund's website at

    7th Annual Fundraiser - Rockin' the Red for Sickle Cell

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Legg Mason Global Headquarters
    100 International Drive
    Baltimore, Maryland 21202

    VIP Mixer at 6:00 p.m.
    Program and Reception from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

    To purchase seats and/or make a donation:
    info ( @ ) wepsicklecell dot org