The month of September is aimed at educating and raising awareness about Sickle Cell Disease (SCD.) The Community Blood Center (CBC) has partnered with We All Rise: African American Resource Center for this purpose on Saturday, September 10th, 12-4 pm at Joanne’s Park, 215 S. Baird St., Green Bay.
Click here to sign up to donate at our event: https://donate.communityblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/36026
“Looking at a person with SCD you may not know that they need you. When you give blood it saves lives….it saved mine.” -Paul Davis, Board President, We All Rise AARC
This blood drive is open to the public. Your one donation can help save up to three lives!
SCD is an inherited red blood cell disorder that impacts about 100,000 people in the United States, mainly African Americans. Just like babies inherit traits like eye or hair color, they can also inherit SCD, and symptoms usually show up within the first year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Red blood cells are a crucial blood component, carrying oxygen throughout the body through blood vessels. These cells are typically round and flexible. When someone has SCD, the red blood cells are hard, sticky, and sickle-shaped, making it difficult to move through the blood vessels, and can actually block them. This can lead to serious pain and other complications. Sickle cells also don’t last as long, which leads to not enough red cells in the patient.
“Knowing that my blood could help a person whom had 1 in 365 odds of being impacted by SCD encourages me to not only show up but to bring other diverse blood donors as well. I will put my fear of needles aside, ask my friends, families or clients to do the same in order to support many of those in black and brown communities that suffer the excruciating pains fighting this disease. I’ve seen first hand how a person with SCD aches and pains as they fight for their lives and health. Being a blood donor may seem small but it’s a mighty way to lend my support.” -Robin Scott, Executive Director We All Rise AARC
Often, those living with SCD rely on blood transfusions to manage symptoms. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), SCD affects 1 in 365 African Americans and 1 in 16,300 Hispanic Americans. This is just one example of why diversity among blood donors is so important. The more closely someone is linked in their genes through a common ancestry, the more likely it is to find a blood transfusion match. Diversification of blood donors can significantly help those with SCD. While blood transfusion can help manage SCD, it’s not a permanent solution. There is only one known cure for SCD: a blood stem cell transplant, which replaces the sickle cells with healthy cells.
The CDC says those living with SCD can live relatively normal lives by following some steps like ensuring quality medical care, keeping healthy, and having a support system.