Red Cross Urges Blood Donations During Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month

September 6, 2011


Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder of red blood cells. The disease causes lung tissue damage, pain, stroke and many other problems. More than 70,000 people in the United States are affected, and most of them are African-American. September is Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month. It is a perfect time to make an appointment with the American Red Cross to donate blood in support of the thousands of people across the country suffering from this disease.

One of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease is regular blood transfusion. It helps reduce the risks of stroke, damage to major organs that can lead to severe infections and other complications. Many patients need transfusions every few weeks to help keep the effects of the disease at bay. Transfusions from donors of the same ethnic background are even more beneficial because they have less chance of causing complications for the recipient. African-Americans are more likely to have blood type O and B than other populations. These types are particularly in need.


Now through Wednesday, Sept. 14, you can register online at to be entered into the Red Cross Racing “Summer Drive Sweepstakes.”  Enter for a chance to win a brand new 2012 red candy metallic Ford Fiesta SE.  One winner is selected by random drawing no later than Monday, Sept. 19.  For more information, or to schedule your summer blood donation appointment, please visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.


Text givelife to 90999 to join the Red Cross Blood texting program.


How to Donate Blood:  Call 1-800-RED CROSS or log on to for more information or to schedule a blood donation appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors younger than 19. Visit to learn more.


About the American Red Cross:  The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at