Lollapalooza headliner Jidenna to visit UIC hospital

Jidenna

Jidenna. Photo: Leslie Edwards

Lollapalooza performer Jidenna, a Wondaland artist, will visit patients in the UI Health Sickle Cell Center on Aug. 3. AllOneBlood, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to empowering people suffering from sickle cell and eradicating the disease, is organizing the visit.

WHEN:

Thursday, Aug. 3
2:30-3:30 p.m.

  • 2:30 p.m. – Remarks (Jidenna; Nana Kwabena, founder of AllOneBlood; Dr. Santosh Saraf, assistant professor of medicine at UIC)
  • 2:45 p.m. – Tour and visit with patients
  • 3:30 p.m. – Photos and adjourn

WHERE:

UI Health
1740 W. Taylor St.

DETAILS:

For more than 50 years, the University of Illinois at Chicago and its hospital, UI Health, have been pioneering sickle cell research and treatment, including a cure for adult sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Americans and one out of every 365 black or African-American births in the U.S. Patients with the disease are born with a genetic abnormality that causes the body to produce red blood cells shaped like sickles. Normal red blood cells are round, similar to a donut. Patients with sickle cell suffer from a lack of oxygen in the blood that can cause severe pain, organ failure, infection and many other serious complications that can lead to death.

Nana Kwebena

Nana Kwebena, founder of AllOneBlood. Photo: Oz Shaw

Nana Kwabena, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and music producer who has worked with artists like Jidenna, John Legend and Janelle Monae, is a sickle cell patient. Kwabena, whose brother passed away from sickle cell in 2011, founded AllOneBlood to raise money and increase awareness and education about the disease. Through art, Kwabena hopes to bring together a community of patients, doctors and artists dedicated to improving the lives of sickle cell patients and achieving a global cure.

Recording artist Jidenna and AllOneBlood will meet with the UI Health sickle cell team to learn about the hospital’s pioneering use of stem cell transplants to cure adults with the disease. They will tour the sickle cell and transplant units, and spend time meeting with patients and families.

Jidenna (“Classic Man” and “Yoga”) is scheduled to perform in Chicago at Lollapalooza on Aug. 4.