WHEELING W.Va. (WTRF) September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Over 100,000 people in the U.S have this disease. It is the most common inherited blood disorder, and most patients are of African descent.
The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers in efforts to grow the number of blood donors who are Black to help patients with sickle cell disease.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), people with sickle cell disease experience worse health outcomes than comparable diseases.
Executive Director of American Red Cross Sharon Kesselring says when those living with the disease face a sickle cell crisis, blood transfusions can make a lifesaving difference.
The blood takes on a different characteristic for those with Sickle Cell Disease. The Sickle Cell ides is the fact that it looks like a sickle, the red cells do. They can actually decrease flow of blood because it can get stuck in the vein or artier.Sharon Kesselring, Executive Director of American Red Cross
Kesselring says more than half the blood donors who are black have blood that is free of C, E, and K antigens—making them the best match for those with sickle cell disease.
To donate during Sickle Cell Awareness Month, you can come to give with the Red Cross September 13-30. Donors will receive a limited-edition football-themed T-shirt while supplies last.