The Blood Connection Offering Community Members Chance to “Double Their Donation”
September to Honor Childhood Cancer, Sickle Cell Disease Awareness
THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA (September 1, 2022) Those who donate with The Blood Connection, the non-profit community blood center, are directly impacting the lives of people in this community; people like children battling cancer, or a neighbor suffering from Sickle Cell Disease. Those people rely on community blood donors every day to ensure lifesaving blood products needed for treatments are available in local hospitals. That is why TBC is partnering with local and national organizations to shed light on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
Both causes have a close tie to blood centers, as blood products are vital for the treatment and management of these diseases. TBC’s September campaign will give community members an opportunity to double their donation by donating blood to the community and donating their reward points to organizations that support childhood cancer and sickle cell patients.
Twenty-five percent of blood products are used by cancer patients; many of them are children. Without blood product transfusions, many of these children wouldn’t survive.
“Donating blood is important because, until it happens to you, you don’t even know that you’ll need that help,” said Parvathy Krishnan. Her son Yash has a rare condition known as constitutional mismatch repair deficiency, or CMMRD, which means he is at an alarmingly high risk of developing cancer. Because of his condition, he has required several surgeries and blood transfusions to keep him alive.
“It happened to us one day when I had to take our son back to the emergency room and say that he was bleeding, just after we had been discharged,” said Krishnan.
Yash’s younger sister, Ira, also had CMMRD, in addition to three other rare diseases, and died at 4-years-old. Now, Krishnan and her family have made it their mission to raise awareness of childhood cancer and blood donations.
“If he had not received blood from strangers – it was because of the kindness of those strangers, that he received lifesaving blood that day and is with us today,” said Krishnan.
Organizations like Ronald McDonald House Charities and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation dedicate their time and funds to helping families going through these trying times. Both organizations will be listed in the TBC Online Store as an option for blood donors to use their reward points towards a monetary donation.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects approximately 100,000 Americans. Ninety-eight percent of people living with sickle cell disease are African American, but less than 3% of African Americans donate blood. Because of that, it is often hard to find compatible blood types for sickle cell patients. Those suffering from SCD often require blood transfusions to help manage pain, and control complications from the disease. Erica Hunter, a mother from Laurens, South Carolina receives monthly transfusions as part of her treatment. “Without those, I would not be able to live or even have some sort of healthy lifestyle,” said Hunter. “Without [blood donors], I would not be here today; and I am a mother, so I would not be a present mother without the help from the donors.”
TBC has experienced a critical need for blood donors throughout the summer: a need that directly impacts patients with cancer and sickle cell disease, among many other conditions. TBC encourages community members to make an appointment to donate blood this September to help not only stabilize the blood supply, but support organizations that are making a difference for patients in need of blood products. To find mobile blood drives or donation centers , please go to thebloodconnection.org/donate.
TBC is also looking for organizations, companies, and groups to host blood drives to benefit these causes. Blood drive coordinators can pick local chapters and organizations, and TBC will make a monetary donation per donor. To speak with a TBC representative about hosting a blood drive in September, go to thebloodconnection.org/host and fill out the form.