The annual fall Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive collected 26 units of blood while spreading awareness for Sickle Cell Disease.
The Morgridge Center for Public Service hosted the drive on Sept. 12 at Memorial Union. Students and staff from on and off campus gave their time and blood to save lives.
In addition to collecting blood donations, the drive aimed to increase awareness about Sickle Cell Anemia, a disease that affects red blood cells. The disease is mainly prevalent among the African American community.
While normal bodies produce red blood cells that live for around 120 days, Sickle Cell patients’ red blood cells die after just 10-20 days. Blood transfusions, therefore, are critical for patients with Sickle Cell Anemia.
African American students, staff and community members were especially encouraged to donate due to the fact that blood transfusions have fewer complications when blood donors reflect the ethnic diversity of the patients who receive their blood.
The drive was sponsored by the American Red Cross and the Urban League of Greater Madison. Special guests included Ron Dayne, former Heisman Trophy winner and longtime supporter of the Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drives.
If you were unable to make it to the drive, but are interested in donating blood, you can visit redcrossblood.org to search for upcoming drives in the area.