Join The Fight Against Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Fighters

  

About Sickle Cell Disease

  • Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a common, inherited red blood disorder. Throughout their lives, SCD patients can suffer a range of disabilities, including acute anemia, tissue and organ damage, terrible pain and even strokes. 
  • Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body through a substance called hemoglobin.  Normal red blood cells are soft, round, and can squeeze through tiny blood vessels. 
  • People with SCD have red blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal hemoglobin type.  These red blood cells are stiff, distorted in shape (like a sickle) and sometimes block small blood vessels.  This is what causes the complications of SCD and why blood  transfusions from people with healthy red blood cells can help.
  • You can’t catch SCD, but for patients born with it, there is currently no widely used cure.

Help fight SCD. Schedule a blood donation today.

 

How Blood Donations Help People with Sickle Cell Disease

  • Depending upon the patient and severity of symptoms, SCD may be treated in a variety of ways.  The Red Cross supports one of the most  critical sickle cell treatments of all – blood transfusions.
  • Donors who have the necessary blood antigens to treat SCD are so important to these patients. Blood transfusions can lessen pain for the  children and adults who live with SCD.  Some SCD patients require transfusions as often as monthly – making the need for blood donations  constant. 

 

In the United States, an estimated 100,000 people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds have SCD, with more than 90% of African descent. 

Blood from people of similar race and ethnicity is important in ensuring the best transfusion results, with the least potential reaction. 

 
Frequently Asked Questions

Meet Those Affected by SCD

Martin and his MomMartin loves to read and play video games. He enjoys puzzles, tinkering with technology, and dreams of working for Apple as a software engineer. As a patient with SCD, he relies on monthly blood transfusions to stay healthy.

Tymia

 

Tymia has been hospitalized 49 times, received 45 blood transfusions, and undergone surgery to remove her spleen and gall bladder. None of that stopped this dynamic girl who in 2015 won Miss South Carolina Pre-Teen. Tymia said, "Without the Red Cross and blood donations, I wouldn't be who I am today."

Lydia

Lydia was diagnosed with SCD when she was two months old. By age 19, she had received over 100 pints of blood. In 2004, Lydia was admitted to the hospital for a sickle cell crisis, spent six weeks in intensive care, and received 35 pints of blood. Now in her twenties, she's an experienced public speaker and advocate for SCD patients


     Be a Sickle Cell Fighter

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Recognizing YOU!

Give more blood in 2018 and you’ll not only help save more lives, but be eligible to receive a gift of appreciation.* Two or more blood donations is what it takes! We will track your progress during the year and in January 2019, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to claim your gift. Log onto redcrossblood.org or the Blood Donor App to be sure that your email address is correct on your Red Cross donor profile. Learn more about the program.

* This program applies to blood donors who have specific antigens in their blood to treat patients with sickle cell disease. The total number of blood donations will be based on attempted donations between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.  If you’re a Red Cross blood donor and unsure if you’re eligible to participate in this program, you can call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS.

 

Call us at 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767) for more information or to schedule an appointment.
You can also download the free Blood Donor App.