On 26th January, we celebrated Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu’s publication of her memoirs, as well as her knighthood. Elizabeth was a founding member of the Sickle Cell Society and is currently a patron. Throughout her career she has been a dedicated advocate for sickle cell disorder and has been instrumental in improving services. She was knighted for her services to nursing. The event, Why Sickle Cell? An Audience With Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, consisted of a reading from Elizabeth’s memoir, a conversation between Elizabeth and SCS president Michael Parker, a tribute from Diane Abbott MP, and a discussion with the audience. Elizabeth made a very generous gift to the Society. The event took place in the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Diane Abbott MP, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia, and a committed sickle cell advocate herself.
A large group representing the sickle cell community attended, including service users, carers, nurses, doctors and others affected by sickle cell. The event was chaired by Michael Parker, President of the Sickle Cell Society, and facilitated by John James, CEO of the Society. Society Chair Kye Gbangbola made closing remarks. It was a passionate evening, with plenty of discussion of the state of sickle cell services from where they had been when Elizabeth started her career, to where they should be in the future! Thank you to everyone who attended.