Sickle Cell Awareness Month kicks off with successful blood drive (Lynwood, IL) – All open donor appointments for a blood drive were booked today at an event aimed toward rallying donors and raising awareness of Sickle Cell Anemia.
In a press release by Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller (D-6th District), the commissioner proudly joined the American Red Cross, Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, and local organization Sickle Schmickle in their efforts to rally donors for this Southland donation day at the Southland Center in Lynwood. According to their Facebook page, Sickle Schmickle is a nonprofit organization aimed at raising awareness of Sickle Cell Anemia.
Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller shared, “I’ve been personally invested in the devastating effects of Sickle Cell because my sister has it and has to get continual blood transfusions – so the need for donors is personal.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, sickle cell anemia is characterized by sickle-shaped red blood cells, as opposed to the normal, round red blood cells. These sickle cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body. Symptoms and side effects of this disease include fatigue, pain, swelling, anemia, organ damage, damaged to eyesight, and more. The CDC states that sickle cell anemia occurs in about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births. Testing for Sickle Cell Anemia and Sickle Cell trait is now typically completed as a part of a newborn screening.
Blood transfusions are the most common treatment for those who suffer from Sickle Cell Disease. Blood donors who are Black are needed to help those with Sickle Cell Disease to get the most compatible blood match. For more information: rcblood.org/3suGuyH
Sickle Cell Awareness Month kicks off with successful blood drive