By: Jerrica Williams
On the field, Marcus “Trey” Greene wowed the crowd during half-time making beautiful music with his trumpet, but off the field, he was battling a common inherited disease affecting more than 100,000 people nationwide.
Sickle Cell is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S. Most patients living with sickle cell disease are of African descent. Patients often rely on regular blood transfusions to help manage disease complications, which may include severe pain, organ failure, and even strokes.
In 2015 Russell and Mary Greene lost their teenage son, Trey, after his lifelong battle with sickle cell disease. While battling the disease, he experienced heart failure resulting in the need for a heart transplant. Sadly, over a year after receiving the transplant, there were complications and Trey experienced a second heart failure.
In honor of their son and to bring awareness to the need for blood donations for patients battling sickle cell disease and who need frequent blood transfusions, the Greene family hosted a successful blood drive in Madison, Georgia on December 13. Surpassing the collection goal of 15 pints, 17 pints were collected from community members who came out in support of Trey.
“Trey loved to give, and he loved people. So, we are giving back in memory of him”, says Mr. Greene. “Let Trey’s memory be the voice for sickle cell in the rural communities.”
Trey spent his youthful years involved in the marching band at Clarke Central High School where he played the trumpet. Having played the instrument since he was in sixth grade, this was one of his favorite activities.
Mr. and Mrs. Greene plan to continue hosting blood drives in memory of their son. “We hope this will bring awareness to both sickle cell and heart disease”, says Mrs. Greene.
The American Red Cross launched a national Sickle Cell initiative to grow the number of blood donors who are Black to help patients with sickle cell disease and improve health outcomes.
To learn more about the importance of blood donations from the African American community, please visit RedCrossBlood.org/OurBlood.