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September Is Sickle Cell Awareness Month: Bringing Attention to This Disease and Why Blood Donations Are Vital for Those Battling It
September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, a time to highlight how this often-invisible and rare disease impacts over 100,000 people— most of whom are of African descent and will require regular blood transfusions to help manage their disease. Despite the discovery of the disease has taken place more than a century ago, there has been limited research and few treatments to date to help those suffering from sickle cell crisis, a troubling legacy of neglect for rare diseases—especially those that primarily affect individuals who are Black.
Kick-off this month with a lifesaving blood donation. The Red Cross urges eligible individuals who are feeling well to please make an appointment today by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
The health and safety of everyone attending Red Cross blood drives across the country is a priority, especially as COVID-19 cases are surging again. As such, the Red Cross resumed requiring all blood donors, staff, and others at our blood drives and donation centers to wear face masks regardless of their vaccination status on Aug. 9. Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are still eligible to donate blood and platelets. Knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they receive is important in determining blood donation eligibility.
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This platform is made possible through a partnership with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) and its member organizations. SCDAA's mission is to advocate for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empower community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure.