*The spirit of giving was on full display as the stars came out for a good cause at the second annual T-Boz Unplugged concert in Hollywood.
Hosted by”K.C. Undercover” star Zendaya Coleman, the charity event, which took place earlier this month at the historic Avalon Hollywood, benefitted people suffering from sickle-cell disease (SCD). Performers included SWV, Da Brat, Kat Graham, KC & JoJo, Keri Hilson and TLC, among others.
For Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, T-Boz Unplugged strikes a personal chord, with her being among the approximately 80,000 people who suffer from SCD. Also known as sickle-cell anemia (SCA), a press release for the event notes the condition is regarded as a “a hereditary blood disorder, characterized by an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells.”
As a result, the cells in the body take on an abnormal, rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Health problem associated with SCD including severe infections, attacks of severe pain (“sickle-cell crisis”) and stroke, in addition to an increased risk of death. African-Americans are primarily affected by sickle-cell disease as research shows that 2.5-3 million people carry the sickle cell trait.
Almost 300,000 children are born with a form of sickle-cell disease every year, according to the release, which revealed that 176,000 deaths resulted from the condition in 2013. Despite complications arising from the condition, they can be prevented with vaccination, preventive antibiotics, blood transfusion, and the drug hydroxyurea/hydroxycarbamide, the release notes, adding that a small percentage of patients require a transplant of bone marrow cells.
Watkins’ passion for raising awareness of SCD, as well as a lack of assistance from national resources, resulted in her creating T-Boz Unplugged, which raised more than $55,000.00 last year for the charity.
“I wasn’t getting a lot of help from the national region, honestly. So I decided to put on my own event and spread awareness myself because I want to find a cure,” the TLC member and Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, (SCDAA) national celebrity spokesperson told EURweb while alluding to why she remaines involved with T-Boz Unplugged and efforts to raise awareness and funds to combat SCD.”
“I want to live to be a grandmother. So I’m doing this for myself as well as for the patients too,” Watkins confessed.
“Anytime you can help someone save a life or inspire someone to do better, it always makes you feel better,” SWV member Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George shared about the group’s reason for being a part of T-Boz Unplugged. “We’re happy to be here to lend our support and our talent for a worthy cause.”