Donate Blood During September - National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September 10, 2010

Celebrate Diversity by Donating Blood

Help the American Red Cross maintain a diverse blood supply to meet the needs of all patients

PEORIA, Ill.(September 9, 2010) – The need for blood is constant. Help the American Red Cross meet the needs of all patients by donating blood during September – National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Many patients need a one-time transfusion, but patients who battle sickle cell disease face a lifetime of blood transfusions. Potential donors can give blood on Saturday, September 11 at either the Charles Drew Blood Drive with the Central Illinois' Black Expo at the Peoria Civic Center or at the American Red Cross blood donation center.

Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. One of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease is regular blood transfusions, which can help reduce the risks of stroke, damage to major organs that can lead to severe infections, and other complications that can arise. Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell disease.

“Our donors truly are heroes to patients in need,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the Heart of America Blood Services region of the American Red Cross. “Without them, the Red Cross wouldn’t be able to provide the right blood to the right patient at the right time.”

The Red Cross is committed to maintaining a diverse base of blood donors to help ensure that all blood types are available for patients with serious medical needs. For more information about sickle cell disease, visit

September 11 Blood Donation Opportunities

Charles Drew Blood Drive at Central Illinois' Black Expo

Sponsored by the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Peoria

from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Peoria Civic Center, 201 Southwest Jefferson Ave.

Room 134, Peoria, Ill 61602


JEMS Day at Peoria Blood Donation Center

from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

405 W. John H. Gwynn Jr. Ave.

Peoria, Ill. 61605

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 permission 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. 

About the American Red Cross

Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

About JEMS

The Journey to Empowerment through Motivation and Self-esteem (JEMS) program seeks to motivate area youth to actively engage in the positive aspects of team sports by empowering them with the skills and knowledge to develop and grow as individuals. They stress discipline, work ethic, and excellence in the classroom.