FAIRFIELD, N.J. — The American Red Cross invites the community to give blood in memory of Paula Lawrence on Saturday, June 8 during an annual Family and Friends Day at the Northern New Jersey Blood Donation Center, 209 Fairfield Road, Fairfield, New Jersey.
Appointments are available between 7 a.m.-2 p.m. To schedule an appointment to donate, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS, sponsor code Northern New Jersey Fixed.
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The drive honors the memory of Paula Lawrence, who received frequent transfusions as treatment for sickle cell anemia, an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. Regular blood transfusions are one of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease.
Paula’s family and friends are hosting the June 8 drive to help ensure that lifesaving blood is available for patients who need it and to educate the public about sickle cell disease and the importance of continuing research.
“Paula was a beautiful, confident and passionate mom, daughter, sister and friend,” shared her twin brother, Paul Lawrence. “She had a great sense of humor and an eye for fashion. She also appreciated a good book and a deep belly laugh. Paula passed these traits on to her son James and nieces Naomi and Nichole. The strength she tapped into as she dealt with the many sickle cell crises has motivated all of us to go out and provide these lifesaving blood donations.”
Sickle Cell is the most common genetic blood disease in the U.S., affecting as many as 100,000 people, most of them African-American and Latino. A diverse blood supply is important to ensure the needs of all patients are met. Red blood cells carry markers that determine one’s blood type, and some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups. Because blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the American Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply to meet these diverse patient needs.