Hundreds of participants lined up enthusiastically at Stude Park in the Houston Heights for the 10th annual As One Foundation’s Darling Dash on Sunday, Feb. 23. For the fourth consecutive year, the UT Physicians Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center returned at the presenting sponsor of the event.
Created by Devard Darling, former Houston Texan, the Darling Dash helps fund As One Foundation’s Operation Hydration. The program helps to educate and create awareness of the connection between dehydration, sickle cell trait and sports-related deaths. In 2001, Darling’s identical twin brother, Devaughn, passed away from dehydration, overexertion and complications from carrying the sickle cell trait during a college football training session.
Jennifer Bradley, director of community-based clinics at UT Physicians, helped kick the race off as a presenting speaker. “It was so great to see multiple departments of UT Physicians turn out to support the event and our sponsorship. It was a great day to run, walk and be present for the awareness of sickle cell disease in our community,” said Bradley.
This year, approximately 500 attendees attended the event including race participants, volunteers and supporters of sickle cell education.
For Adrienne Finley, MPH, MS and senior practice manager of the UT Physicians Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, the day was deemed a huge success.
“Seeing coworkers, friends and family come out and support the Darling Dash was genuinely inspiring to witness,” said Finley. “Our sickle cell clinic is the only family comprehensive center in Houston, so events that raise awareness for sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait hold a special place in our hearts.”
About UT Physicians Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center
UT Physicians Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center offers outpatient services for individuals with sickle cell disease. The center has an infusion suite, transcranial doppler ultrasonography, pediatric pulmonary services, adult cardiology and dental services and accepts same-day visits and urgent walk-ins. Subspecialists, social services and behavioral health services have all been added to the center for a holistic approach to patient care. The unique facility, located at 1200 Binz Street, Suite 850, is the only family comprehensive sickle cell center in Houston. For more information, visit UTPhysicians.com/sicklecellcenter. UT Physicians is the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). For an appointment, call 713-486-5660.
About As One Foundation
The mission of As One Foundation is to educate and increase awareness of sickle cell trait while encouraging youth to achieve their dreams in the face of life’s challenges. On Feb. 26, 2001, Devaughn Darling lost his life due to sickle cell disease coupled with exhaustion during spring football practice at Florida State University. His identical twin brother, Devard Darling, persevered after the tragedy. He became an NFL star, but his most noteworthy accomplishment was founding As One Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring Devaughn’s life while elevating awareness of sickle cell trait.