Seats Are Limited – Registration Opens TUESDAY, MAY 15TH!

REGISTRATION OPENS ON TUESDAY, MAY 15TH. Register now to reserve your spot. This convention will fill up fast. Remember, this is the only conference in the sickle cell community organized entirely by Warriors and Caregivers for Warriors and Caregivers. We welcome everyone living with sickle cell, warriors, parents, teens, and understanding health care professionals. See you soon!


The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee (SCFT) is a 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2008, by the late Dr. Trevor K. Thompson and Cherry N.Whitehead-Thompson. As an educator (Administrator with Memphis City Schools) and sickle cell disease consumer, Dr. Thompson championed the call for advocacy, educational support and social services for citizens impacted by sickle cell disease in Memphis, across the state of Tennessee, and in the regions of north Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. His efforts have enabled SCFT to provide educational awareness, through direct contact, via television, radio, print, and social media to more than 1,000,000 citizens across the Mid-South area.


To provide educational awareness, comprehensive social services, and collective supportive impact to all persons affected by Sickle Cell Disease within our service areas.


To improve the quality, self-sufficiency, and sustainment of life of all sickle cell consumers to the highest credible level possible.


The Sickle Cell Champions Association (S.C.C.A.) is a not-for-profit community-based organization (CBO) made up of men and caregivers living with sickle cell disease.  Formed as a partner of the Sickle Cell Community Consortium, we were the founding organization of the Sickle Mens Action Network (Sickle M.A.N.).  Under the leadership of Clayton Andrews, S.C.C.A.  focuses on the empowerment, motivation and overall growth of adolescent males living with sickle cell disease.

Five young men with a similar vision and a common cause came together to create a male mentoring program for children and adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait.

The S.C.C.A. came together as a group of advocates who endure the pain and discomfort of living with (SCD).

The S.C.C.A. banded together, as affiliate advocates, to represent a male voice and bring awareness to this disease, in order to inform the patient, family, and community. The members and officers of S.C.C.A. strive for the mentorship and guidance of the youth that have been stricken with this blood disorder. We have designed a positive mentoring program, to guide the youth through their transitioning years into adulthood.


The Sickle Cell Community Consortium is a US-based non-profit formed in 2014 to “harness and amplify the power of the patient voice”. The Consortium is comprised of sickle cell community-based organizations (CBOs), patient and caregiver advocates, community partners and medical and research advisers. These stakeholders collectively form the General Assembly of CBOs and Advocates, the decision-making body of the Consortium. The Consortium acts as an organizing entity providing the framework for the stakeholders of the General Assembly to apply a model of Collective Impact to define problems and gaps in the sickle cell community, identify strategies to address those needs and gaps, and determine the CBO, Community, and Corporate partnerships best equipped to implement those strategies to achieve significant and sustainable change.


The Annual Sickle Cell Disease Patient & Family Educational Symposium is the only national sickle cell convention designed, created and hosted by the sickle cell patient and family community.  Now in its fifth year, the meeting has grown in size and scope.  Each year the meeting is hosted by a partnership of sickle cell community-based organizations, patients and advisors.  We are pleased to announce the 2018 symposium will be hosted by The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee and the Sickle Cell Champions Association (SCCA), in partnership with Hope for SCD and the International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Professional Associates (IASCNAPA).  With a focus on Warrior Mental Health, and tracks designed specifically for teens and young adults, children and caregivers, and warrior men, the 2018 Convention represents our most robust agenda to date.  The agenda is designed by the sickle cell community with topics identified by patients, caregivers and healthcare supporters, ranging from “Parenting Issues from Birth to Adult” and “The Science of Sickle Cell” to “Sickle Cell Mental Health” and “Sickle Cell and College Life”.

Fly in, register, relax with us and get to know your fellow Warrior siblings with icebreakers and evening reception. Early risers are invited to join us each morning for Yoga and morning workout sessions. A special morning workout session has been prepared for children and parents.

Registration opens Wednesday, August 1st at 10 AM.  We begin festivities at 4 PM with an opening reception and ice-breakers.  Early risers are invited to join us each morning at 7 AM for morning yoga and workout.  The General Plenary session starts at 10 AM on each day, followed by multi-track breakout sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and panels.  We are excited to offer lunch each day accompanied by a main general session on a wide variety of topics of interest to the sickle cell warrior community.  Plenty of free-time is dispersed throughout each day to explore all that Memphis has to offer.

We are excited to offer several special evening sessions.  Join us on Wednesday night for Warrior Game Night.  On Thursday we will host Warriors After Dark Men-Only and Warrior after Dark Women-Only (age 17+/15-16 with parent permission).  This session is included in full registration and is divided by gender for adults only.  We will discuss a variety of adult-themed topics that are important to our warrior community.  Friday afternoon has been left completely open to enable participants to enjoy the sights and tourist destinations of Memphis. Then grab your ticket for the Warriors of Wakanda Awards Gala/Prom on Saturday night.

Join other Warriors as we learn from and encourage each other on all aspects of Warrior life, including dealing with work, school, and relationships. We have special programs for teens, parents, couples, and adults living with sickle cell. Our roundtable panels, plenary sessions, and educational lunches all have been developed for sickle cell warriors and caregivers, by sickle cell warriors and caregivers.

Please feel free to share this website as well as the attached flyer with your community and networks. This program was designed by the sickle cell community for the sickle cell community and is directly focused on supporting warriors and our families in the fight against sickle cell disease.


Program Overview & Learning Objectives

This is an educational conference planned by and for consumers with sickle cell disease to address issues that are most relevant to consumers. Some of the latest research in sickle cell disease will be discussed as well as management of the most common complications including treatment options; gene therapy, transplant, transfusion, and new therapeutic drugs available (or being researched) for sickle cell disease. Speakers will discuss issues related to stress management, financial management, transition from pediatric to adult care, caregiver respite, rights & responsibilities in the workplace, men only sessions, women-only sessions, and other interesting topics.

The primary audience is consumers with sickle cell disease, adults and children, their caregivers, and sickle cell advocates.

After completing this course, you should be able to:
Review the most common complications of sickle cell disease
Discuss stress management techniques for sickle cell disease
Discuss chronic transfusion and sickle cell disease
Understand new drug therapies for sickle cell disease!











Want to participate? Read on..

There are many ways to participate in the Convention.

REGISTER and join us in dozens of workshops, panels, and round table discussions. Share your experiences and your knowledge with your fellow Warriors.

EXHIBIT with us. This year we are excited to include an exhibition hall at the Convention. We welcome corporate, government, community, non-profit and Warrior exhibitors to rent booth space for the duration of the Convention.

PRESENT a poster of your research or advocacy work. Submit an abstract of your research or advocacy work through the abstract portal. Bring a poster of your work to the Convention. Select abstracts will be invited to give an oral presentation during the Convention. 



Day 1 Agenda

Wednesday, August 1- Registration, Welcome & Check-in

10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration will be open from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. Please register and receive your event materials prior to going to your room.


Welcome Reception & Icebreaker

4:00PM - 7:00PM


Game Night

7:00PM - 9:00PM

Day 2 Agenda

Thursday, August 2 - Learning Extravaganza


Morning Yoga

7:00AM - 8:00AM


Registration Open

8:00AM - 11:00AM


Plenary Session

10:00AM - 11:00AM


Break-out Sessions

11:00AM - 1:00PM



1:00PM - 2:00PM



Registration Open

01:00PM - 3:00PM


Break-out session

2:00PM - 4:00PM


Warriors after Dark Men

7:00PM - 10:00PM

Day 3 Agenda

Friday, August 3, 2018 - Research and Clinical Trials


Morning Yoga

7:00AM - 8:00AM


Registration Open

8:00AM - 11:00AM


Plenary Sessions

10:00AM - 11:00AM


Break-out Sessions

11:00AM - 1:00PM



1:00PM - 2:00PM



Registration Open

1:00PM - 3:00PM


Break-out session

2:00PM - 3:30PM

Day 4, agenda

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Morning Yoga

7:00AM - 8:00AM


Registration Open

8:00AM - 11:00AM


Plenary Sessions

10:00AM - 11:00AM


Break-out Sesisons

11:00AM - 1:00PM



1:00PM - 2:00PM




2:00PM - 7:00PM



7:00PM - 10:00PM

Day 5 Agenda

Sunday, August 5, 2018


Registration Open

8:00AM - 11:00AM


BREAKFAST/Plenary Talk

10:00AM - 11:30AM


Closing Ceremony

11:30AM - 12:30PM


Announcements and Vote on 2019 Destination

11:00AM -

2018 Symposium – Memphis, TN
2019 Vote

We are a national collaborative of warriors, caregivers and CBOs



THANK YOU TO OUR 2017 Sponsors!

frequently asked questions

Is there ample parking at the Convention venue?

Parking is available on-site for a fee of $26/day+ tax.  Day rate (8hrs + no in/out) available for $14/day + tax. Off-site parking is available nearby for $5.00. Limited street parking is available. Several downtown public parking garages are available for $5/day within walking distance of the Trolley.

Tell me about the Trolley

Trolley: $1 USD; one-way; exact change required.

Trolley Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 6:25 AM – 11:05 PM
Friday: 6:25 AM – 12:00 AM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 12:45 AM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

About Trolley
MATA’s trolley rail system runs throughout downtown and into nearby neighborhoods on the Main Street, Madison Avenue, and Riverfront Lines. Trolleys are ADA compliant

Other transportation options?

Transportation from Airport to Sheraton Downtown:
Travel Distance: Approximately 19.31 km/12.0 miles

Options for getting to and from the hotel include:
TAXI (Taxi services are available from 5:30 am until final flight. Cost ~$27)

LYFT (Cost ~$16)

UBER (Cost ~$23)

What is the nearest airport?

Nearest Airport: Memphis International Airport (MEM)

Driving directions?

Driving Directions:

From East (Nashville)
From Interstate 40, folow the signs for Memphis
Take Exit 10B and continue on I-40 W/Little Rock
Take Exit 1A toward 2nd Street
Turn left only North 2nd street
Turn right onlto Exchange Ave
Turn Right onto Main Street
The hotel is on the right

From Memphis International Airport
Exit the airport on Winchester Road W and follow the signs to Interstate 240
Merge onto Interstate 240 W toward Little Rock/Downtown
Merge onto interstate 240North
ETake Exit 31 and merge onto Interstate 40 W/Little Rock
Take Exit 1A toward Second Street
Turn left onto North 2nd Street
Turn right onto Exchange Ave
Turn right onto Main Street
The hotel is on the right

From South (Mississippi)
Proceed north on Interstate 44
Continue on I-55 N as it merges with interstate 69 N and Interstate 240 N
Take Exit 31 onto Interstate 40 W/Little Rock
Take Exit 1A toward 3rd Street
Turn left onto 2nd street
Turn right onto Exchange Avenue
Turn right onto North Main Street
The hotel is on the right

From West (Arkansas)
Take Interstate 40 East toward Memphis/Nashville
Take Exit 1 for Front Street
Stay left at the fork following the signs toward Front Street North
Turn left onto Front Street
Turn right onto Winchester Avenue
Turn right onto North Main Street
The hotel is on the left

Will there by Exhibitors/Vendors?

Yes, we are excited to welcome exhibitors and vendors to the Convention. For more information visit register a booth at

How do I sponsor?

There are both corporate-level and community-level sponsorship packages available. Contact Doris Bailey ( for more information or visit

Are scholarships available?

YES! Every year we work hard to ensure that as many warriors and caregivers as possible are able to attend. Over the past three years, we’ve provided over $50,000 in registration and lodging scholarships for Warriors and Caregivers.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Scholarships are available for ALL warriors and caregivers. To apply, visit the scholarship portal. Scholarships reduce the cost of registration to $25 for everyone who applies prior to Friday, June 22nd. A limited number of lodging scholarships are also available. If you are applying for both discount registration and lodging support, you must apply before the June 22nd deadline. This scholarship level reduces the amount of registration to $50 and includes 4 nights at the Sheraton.

What is included with registration?

Full registration includes access to all workshops, panels, presentations, and roundtables; one (1) ticket to the Warriors of Wakanda Awards Gala and Prom; select meals refreshments and snacks. Day registration rates are also available. Day registration does not include a prom ticket. Additional prom tickets are sold separately.

Are children welcome?

Absolutely! We are pleased to partner with HOPE for SCD to host the second Child/Caregiver Track at the 5th Annual Convention. This track includes presentations and workshops dedicated specifically to young warriors ages 6-14, and includes access to a special Junior Warriors Prom to be held concurrently as the adult prom. Our Young Wakanda Elite will learn about sickle cell, expressing their emotions, dealing with pain, and will dance the night away in their very own Prom. Discount registration rates and scholarships are available for our young warriors and their caregivers.

What about the teen/young adult transition warriors?

We are also excited to offer workshops, panels and presentations, along with registration discounts and scholarships, specifically for our age 16 – 22 warriors. Enjoy your own Young Adult Reception and sessions on transitioning, college, dating and even Money Matters for the Young Warrior.

Are you accepting abstracts this year?

Yes, we are accepting abstracts in several categories. For more information visit or submit an abstract (free) at We ENCOURAGE all sickle cell organizations to submit an abstract sharing information about your organization, the services you provide, how to participate in events and donate.

Which payment methods do you accept?

We accept cards via Paypal or the payment portal. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express. However, the consumer pays all user-fees.

Can I pay in cash?

You can only pay in cash at the venue during registration. However, please email us to let us know that you plan to attend.

Are children welcome?

Absolutely! We are pleased to partner with HOPE for SCD to host the second Child/Caregiver Track at the 5th Annual Convention. This track includes presentations and workshops dedicated specifically to young warriors ages 6-14, and includes access to a special Junior Warriors Prom to be held concurrently as the adult prom. Our Young Wakanda Elite will learn about sickle cell, expressing their emotions, dealing with pain, and will dance the night away in their very own Prom. Discount registration rates and scholarships are available for our young warriors and their caregivers.

Wait! There's a Prom?

Yes!  Every year we hold a themed Awards Gala on the last full day of Convention. For the past two years, this Gala has been designed as an adult Prom. The theme this year is Warriors of Wakanda. Tickets are available at (If you would like to help volunteer as part of the Prom Committee, please reach out to SharondaCupcake Sikes, Shelfina Annaye or Dominique Goodson)

Will there be any sessions designed specifically for men?

Yes!  The Sickle Cell Men’s Action Network (Sickle M.A.N.) is partnering with the Sickle Cell Champions Association to present sessions dedicates specifically for men living with sickle cell disease or caring for a warrior.

The flyer says ``Focus on Mental Health``. Will there be session dedicated to mental health?

Yes, we are excited to work with Dr. Gayle Rogers and Clayton Andrews of the Sickle Cell Warrior Mental Health Initiative to present sessions dedicated to warrior and caregiver mental health. Individual mental health and grief counseling small group sessions will also be available for sign-up on site.

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  • Sickle Cell Patient & Family Educational Symposium
    Dates: August 1-5, 2018

    Co-hosted by The Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell in Oklahoma, Bold Lips for Sickle Cell, and Hope for SCD.

    A sickle cell conference created for us (warriors, adults, families, teens and kids living with sickle cell disease) by us (the sickle cell community). Join us for two packed days of educational programs focused on living and thriving with sickle cell disease. Leave educated, inspired, renewed, re-energized, and empowered.
    Send us an Email

    For general Questions-

    For Speakers-

    For Sponsors/ Exhibitors

  • Hotel Address

    The Sheraton Downtown Memphis
    250 North Main Street
    Memphis, TN 38103

  • Send us an Email

  • Take a Look Our Website

  • 706-204-9269