September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is working to increase blood donors – and in particular African-American donors – to help treat area sickle cell patients.
This effort is part of CBCC’s new Sickle Cell Program aimed at creating a registry of African-American volunteer donors whose blood type and traits are matched with a local sickle cell patient.
“There is a real value and need for this program in our community,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. “Nationally, the number of African-Americans who need blood transfusions exceeds the number of African-Americans who donate blood. The same is true in our own community where we simply do not have enough local African-American donors to meet local patient needs.”
Studies show that one in 500 African-Americans are born with sickle cell anemia each year. Although sickle cell is not unique to African-Americans, it is more frequently diagnosed in the African-American patient population in the U.S. While blood-type compatibility is not determined by race, select rare blood types more generally found in African-Americans are needed to support sickle cell patients.
Research also shows that more than half of all persons with sickle cell will require a blood transfusion in their lifetime and the majority will require multiple transfusions, using an average of four units per month.
Grable added, “These blood donations are necessary to support local sickle cell patients who need our help.”
In addition, CBCC is teaming up with various organizations throughout the region to host blood drives in honor of Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The following is a list of Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drives. More drives can be found at www.carolinadonor.org.
Grace AME Zion Church
3722 David Cox Road
Charlotte, NC 28269
10:00 am ‑ 12:00 pm
Sickle Cell Partners of the Carolinas
4447 South Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28209
10:00 am ‑ 2:00 pm
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
3301 Statesville Road
Charlotte, NC 28206
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Mt Calvary Baptist Church
422 Carolina Avenue
Shelby, NC 28150
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
623 Crawford Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Ebenezer Baptist Church
2020 W. Sugar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC 28262
9:30 am ‑ 1:30 pm
Anyone 16 and older who weighs at least 120 pounds is encouraged to donate at one of the five CBCC centers located in Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, Hickory and Monroe or at one of CBCC’s many mobile blood drives, which can be found at www.carolinadonor.org. For more information or to make an appointment, call 704-972-4700. For organizations, businesses, churches and schools interested in sponsoring a blood drive, contact Kim Jones at 704-972-4727.
About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 21 regional hospitals, serving 16 North Carolina and three South Carolina counties. CBCC focuses exclusively on gathering red blood cells, platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives – every drop of blood collected remains here to help people in the Carolinas. CBCC is a member of America’s Blood Centers, North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood centers providing more than 50% of the nation’s blood supply.