September: Sickle Cell Awareness Month
Sickle Cell Awareness Month does not start for one more week, but you should mark your calendars now for the following blood drives to support Sickle Cell Patients. Join us in supporting area patients who are battling this disease and need blood products for their treatment.
- Doctors of America 9/6
- MAS of Charlotte 9/7
- Logan Ministries 9/8
- Grace AME Zion Church 9/22
- Sickle Cell Partners of the Carolinas 9/22
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity 9/29
- Mt Calvary Baptist Church 9/29
- First Calvary on 9/29
Sickle Cell is the most common genetic blood disorder that causes red blood cells to create abnormal hemoglobin – the protein that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen and tissue. Though not unique to African-Americans, 98% of individuals diagnosed in the U.S. with Sickle Cell are African-American. Patients with Sickle Cell have red blood cells that can form in an abnormal crescent shape. These cells do not move easily through blood vessels. Severe pain, tissue damage, serious infections and even stroke are byproducts of Sickle Cell.
Research shows that more than half of all persons with Sickle Cell will require a blood transfusion in their lifetime and the majority will require multiple transfusions, using an average of 4 units per month. Genetically-similar blood is preferred for those who need repeated blood transfusions and for conditions like Sickle Cell, because it is less likely to be rejected.
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas launched its Sickle Cell Specialty Donor Program to further meet the needs of this underserved group of patients. Our goal is to create a registry of African-American donors whose blood type and traits are matched with local Sickle Cell Patients. There donations are necessary to save lives – but CBCC cannot do it without you.
Please donate today or sponsor a blood drive by calling Sherri Glenn at 704-972-4728.