Your Blood Donation May Help a Sickle Cell Patient

September 10, 2012

Charles Drew Commemorative Blood Drive - Sept. 22, 2012


The American Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region will host its annual East St. Louis Charles Drew Commemorative Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, at East Saint Louis City Hall, 301 Riverpark Drive, East Saint Louis, IL.

By matching patients with sickle cell disease to designated blood donors from the African-American community, the Charles Drew Community Blood Donation campaign helps bring awareness to the African-American community about the need for blood.

"The Red Cross is committed to being a part of the life saving process for people living with sickle cell disease,” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region.  “With the assistance of our blood drive sponsors, volunteers and our blood donors, we strive to give hope to as many patients as possible."  

Sickle cell disease is prevalent in the African-American community, and often donors with the same ethnic background provide the best match.  A person having a sickle cell crisis may need up to four pints of blood in one week.  To meet these needs, it’s important for African Americans to donate blood throughout the year.

The Red Cross encourages all eligible donors to visit the blood drive, especially those who have never attempted to donate before.  One blood donation may help save lives.  Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments take priority.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 or join our blog at