When you work in IT, you don’t always get to see the direct effect your work has on the community at large. As often as not, our efforts are siloed off to the side of a business’ or organization’s core focus. Which was precisely why we at Taylored felt so privileged to be part of the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative’s (MCSCI’s) recent telethon.
The telethon, which ran on October 28th at the Martin University Gathetorium, was a great way to kick off what will hopefully become an annual fundraising tradition for this venerable organization. Founded in 1969 and named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and St. Martin dePorres, the Martin Center has supported sickle cell patients and their families since its early days. So in typical MCSCI fashion, it wasn’t just a fundraiser, it was a community event with food, music and a full audience of about 75 people in attendance.
Taylored was pleased to provide the phone systems, networking and equipment that made the technical aspects of the night possible. We loaned a large portion of the call systems so that MCSCI won’t have to purchase new phones and infrastructure for the event. Two certified Zultys technicians were dispatched to oversee the telethon and provide spur-of-the-moment technical assistance.
It was just our way of saying thanks to the Martin Center for all the good work they do. As Indiana natives, we’ve been serving the community of Indianapolis for over 35 years — the same community that MCSCI helps every day. We’ve seen firsthand the impact that they’ve had over our neighbors, friends and clients, and we were eager to give back in any way we could!
Things are looking more hopeful than ever for sickle cell disease (SCD) patients. Thanks to advances in medicine and innovations in SCD treatments, the average life expectancy for these patients has gone from just 14 years in the 1970s to an average 40 to 60 years today. Of course, that still leaves a lot to be done.
Living with a chronic disease like SCD makes even the smallest obstacles more challenging. Seemingly innocuous events like catching a cold, flying in an airplane or being on one’s feet for too long can trigger pain crises — acute pain attacks that affect the lower back, legs, arms, abdomen and chest. In severe cases, patients with SCD can suffer from strokes, infections and damage to the body’s organs, and they may have to undergo frequent operations, blood transfusions and time spent in the hospital. That makes it much harder to lead a normal life.
While those issues obviously impact the individuals suffering from SCD, the community feels the effects as well. Families, friends and caretakers bear the financial strain, emotional weight and overall exhaustion of battling SCD every day.
Helping individuals and families affected by SCD has been the mission of the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative for over 40 years. The money raised during this telethon, for instance, will be used to support MCSCI’s food pantry, an emergency resource for families dealing with SCD-related crises. In addition to the food pantry, MCSCI runs support groups and offers individual client support to patients and their families and provides financial assistance, scholarships and transportation for anyone battling SCD.
We at Taylored share the Martin Center’s hope that more and more SCD patients can lead happy, healthy, productive lives. We look forward to a day when new treatments will make SCD a thing of the past. Until then, we’re honored to play a part — no matter how small — in the center’s ongoing efforts to improve the everyday lives of our community members.
To find out more about the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative and learn how you can help those affected by SCD, please visit their website.