LifeSouth event raises awareness, blood donations for Sickle Cell Disease
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Montgomery is hosting a special event to help us better understand how the disorder affects the body’s red blood cells.
Sickle cell anemia, also known as Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), is a condition in which the hemoglobin is abnormal, causing the red blood cells to be rigid. These cells clog the circulation because they are unable to flow through the small blood vessels of our bodies.
Because the red blood cells are blocked inside the blood vessels, not enough oxygen can be delivered to the other cells and organs. This lack of oxygen can lead to severe pain in the muscles, a stroke in the brain, severe injury to the lungs, blindness in the eyes, abdominal pain in the gut, and much more.
One in 365 African-Americans is born with Sickle Cell Disease. Finding donors whose blood types match the is crucial to reducing their complications.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that primarily affects people of African ancestry. Many sickle cell patients require frequent blood transfusions, and in most cases, blood from other African Americans will be the perfect match. However, there are other groups of people who also may inherit sickle cell disease. It is common in Africa, in Mediterranean countries (such as Greece, Turkey, and Italy), the Arabian Peninsula, India, Spanish-speaking regions in South and Central America, and parts of the Caribbean
LifeSouth Community Blood Center is hosting a Sickle Cell Blood Drive Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., at its facility located on Carmichael Road.
For those looking to donate blood at this event, please call the Sickle Cell Foundation of Greater Montgomery, Inc. at 334-286-9122 or 1-888-767-4255, or call Stephanie Tyus-Shorter, Sickle Cell Outreach Coordinator, at 334-260-0803 to sign up to be a donor or for more information.
The LifeSouth Community Foundation is also providing a monetary grant to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Greater Montgomery in honor of its blood donors as part of Thursday’s event.
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