Red Cross partners with organization in search of sickle cell-compatible donations
The American Red Cross is partnering with the Eta Xi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority this week on raising awareness and finding new blood donors to help those with sickle cell disease.
The organization is hosting a Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the McDonald Hughes Center, 3101 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Tuscaloosa.
All donors who come give blood at the event will get a limited-edition Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last and a $20 Amazon gift card via email 30 days after making a donation.
Here are three ways to make an appointment:
- Via the free Red Cross Blood Donor App
- Via redcrossblood.org. Enter sponsor code “EXOAKA”
- Call 800-733-2767
September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, and those who live with the disease experience cycles of pain, infections and may even be afflicted by strokes.
Those living with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that become hard and often look like a sickle: a C-shaped farm tool used to harvest grain. When these sickle-shaped red blood cells travel through blood vessels, they can clog blood flow and cause acute symptoms.
The disease is most common among African Americans, but Latinos and those of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean or Asian backgrounds can also be afflicted.
As part of a national partnership with the National Pan-Hellenic Council (the Divine 9) and the Red Cross, the goal is to increase blood donations in the African American community to support the blood transfusion needs of patients battling sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease affects more than 2,850 residents in Alabama and more than 100,000 people in the U.S.