LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2016) — September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month and the American Red Cross, Sickle Cell Association of Kentuckiana (SCAK) and the Louisville Urban League are teaming up to host Louisville’s first community blood drive aimed at raising awareness of sickle cell disease, Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1310 W. Broadway in Louisville. All presenting donors will receive a coupon by email for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations.
In honor of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood. Sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease - a serious disorder in which the body makes abnormal crescent shaped red blood cells. The inherited blood disorder affects as many as 100,000 Americans, most of them Latino and African-American.
One of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease is regular blood transfusions, which can help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs, and other complications. Many patients need a one-time transfusion, but patients who battle sickle cell disease may face a lifetime of blood transfusions.
“Blood donors play such an important role in sickle cell treatment, said Ashley Jodry, account manager for the Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region. “A single patient with sickle cell may receive anywhere from 50 to 100 pints of blood a year, and the best blood match for patients with sickle cell disease are donations that come from individuals with the same ethnic background.”
The River Valley Blood Services Region launched the Sickle Cell Donor Program in March of 2014. The program gives donors—who, because of their similar ethnic background are more likely to be a good match for sickle cell disease recipients-- the option of identifying their blood donation with a blue tag. The blue tag helps identify the unit of blood for additional testing to meet the needs of sickle cell patients. The blue tags are currently available at all area Red Cross blood drives and donor centers.
Sickle Cell Association of Kentuckiana
Inaugural Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive
Wednesday, Sept. 28
1 to 7 p.m.
St. Augustine Catholic Church
1310 W. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40203
How to donate blood
To schedule an appointment, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: SCAK or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are welcome.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or redcross.org/cruz-roja, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.