September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Blood Drive00000001

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Aundralesha Wordlow

ALABAMA— September is Sickle Cell Awareness month and the American Red Cross is calling for more Black and Latino blood donors. This is to help ensure a diverse blood supply that meets the transfusion needs of patients battling sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to be crescent-shaped instead of soft and round. When this happens, blood has difficulty flowing smoothly and carrying oxygen to the rest of the body.

Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia Director of Health Affairs and Clinical Laboratory Services Dr. Milford Green said blood transfusions are essential for keeping patients with this disease alive.

Greene said many sickle cell disease patients depend on a compatible blood match from a donor of the same race or ethnicity.

“The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to roll up a sleeve and share their strength with patients during Sickle Cell Awareness Month,” Greene said.

There will be three blood donation opportunities in the state of Alabama. Those include the following places and times:

  • Sixth Avenue Baptist Church: Sept. 20, 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 1101 Martin Luther King Drive SW. Birmingham
  • Huntsville-Madison County NAACP Branch: Sept. 22, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Richard Showers Sr. Recreation Center 4600 Blue Spring Road Huntsville
  • Guiding Light Church: Sept. 27, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Attic 1800 John Rogers Drive, Birmingham

To donate blood, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.

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