WHAT IS SICKLE CELL DISEASE?
Sickle cell is the most common inherited blood disease. It causes red blood cells to form abnormal crescent shapes. These sickled cells bump against the blood vessels and cause intense pain. As the number of sickled cells start to outnumber the healthy red cells in a patient’s body, blood transfusions are needed to replace the sickles cells with healthy red cells. Due to the lifespan of red cells, transfusions may be needed every couple of weeks or months.
Who Has It?
- 98% are African American
- 1 in 3 African Americans are a match for donating blood to help sickle cell patients.
“We are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; there is a ONENESS to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.”
WHERE DO I
There are some rare blood antigens that are specific to African Americans, and it is hard to find compatible blood types for some Sickle Cell patients. Because they require multiple blood transfusions, the blood that patients receive must be very closely matched to prevent reactions. The best match is blood that comes from another American American donor!