In the U.S., about one in 500 African American children are born with sickle cell disease—a blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal hemoglobin molecule—and approximately one in 10 carry the trait. In addition, one in 1,000 to 1,400 Latino babies are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Multiple blood transfusions can be the only relief from frequent episodes of pain and complications. Yet patients who receive frequent transfusions can develop antibodies against donated blood, and finding a donor whose antigens match becomes increasingly difficult.
Donors who are sickle trait negative are candidates to give a very special gift to someone battling the pain of sickle cell. Memorial Blood Centers’ Sickle Cell Donor Program uses an extensive typing process to screen donors and match their blood to patients in need.
Please consider asking to be typed at your next donation to find out if you are a candidate for sickle cell donations. People of African-American descent are especially needed for this program. Learn how your special commitment can help courageous fighters like Teresa and what you can do to help others in our community battling this painful disease. For more information, please call 1-888-282-1884.