The American Red Cross, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. announced a new five-year partnership, as well as a national blood drive and educational campaign that will enhance awareness about sickle cell disease while addressing critical blood supply needs.
The initiative will also target African-American blood donors and highlight the need for a stable supply of blood donors of African descent. Through collaboration with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, colleges and universities, hospitals, and others, this partnership will help to ensure patients have access to lifesaving blood products.
The annual goal of the campaign is to mobilize 100 blood drives (with a minimum of 30 units collected per drive) targeting African-American donors across the nation. Over the five-year partnership, it is anticipated that upwards of 15,000 blood donations will be made, helping to save thousands of lives.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, for patients with sickle cell disease blood transfusions can lessen their pain. Patients like Braden Green, a 12-year-old boy from Columbia, SC who has sickle cell disease. A blood transfusion saved his life.
His mother, Brenda Green, remembers watching the blood enter her son’s body as he received his transfusion—realizing how important blood donations really are in that moment. Green wondered whose blood was helping her son. She felt guilty about not being a consistent blood donor. Since that trip to the hospital she has not only become a committed blood donor herself but become an advocate for blood donation and sickle cell fighter by sharing her son’s story.
Read more about Braden’s story, written by his mom.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease an inherited blood disorder which causes red blood cells to change from a normal round, soft blood cell to a sticky, hard, sickled shaped blood cell under certain stressors. These abnormal blood cells can stick together and block blood flow and oxygen causing pain and other complications. There is no widely used cure for sickle cell disease and regular blood transfusions are one of the most common treatments.
Please roll up your sleeve and be a sickle cell fighter for patients, like Braden. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by visiting redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).