Campus Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive collects record donations

The UW-Madison campus came out in full support Tuesday to join the fight against Sickle Cell Disease. The annual fall campus Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive collected 46 pints of usable blood— the highest number in the five years of the drive.

Those 46 pints of blood will help save up to 138 lives in Madison and beyond.

For the first time ever, the fall campus drive was hosted in Morgridge Commons at the Education Building on Bascom Hill. The location proved a huge success, drawing large numbers of walk-in donors.

All tolled, 50 student, faculty, staff and community donors came through the door, with only a handful of deferrals.

The Morgridge Center hosts four annual Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drives every year— two on campus and two off campus. The drives are a combined effort of the Morgridge Center, the Urban League of Greater Madison and Fountain of Life Church on Badger Road.

The drives seek to increase awareness about Sickle Cell Disease as well and grow the diversity of blood donors in Madison. It’s important that blood donors reflect the ethnic diversity of the patients who receive their blood. Patients with Sickle Cell Disease— which predominantly affects African-Americans— are less likely to have complications from blood donated by donors of the same ethnicity.

The Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drives were first inspired by a young Madisonian born with the disease. Now 12 years old, Isaiah has received hundreds of blood transfusions in his lifetime to combat the effects of Sickle Cell. But the disease is intensifying and treatments are becoming less effective. So Isaiah will undergo a bone marrow transplant next spring— a promising treatment and possible cure. His mother will be his donor match.

Read more about Isaiah’s story.

The next community Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive will take place Saturday, Feb. 27.