The Sickle Cell Association says it needs more black and brown people to donate blood
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana State University and Southern University have partnered again – this time to help victims who suffer from sickle cell disease. According to the CDC, sickle cell disease affects 100,000 Americans in their daily lives.
The South Louisiana Sickle Cell Association is partnering with LSU and the South’s Nine Divine Organizations to inspire more black people to donate blood to help community members dealing with sickle cell disease.
“Since most people with sickle cell disease in America are black or brown individuals. It’s better if the blood comes from someone of the same race as them,” explained Unity Blood Drive Block Party event organizer Quenton Buckhalter.
About 1 in 13 black babies are born with sickle cell trait. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sickle cell disease affects black and Hispanic communities the most.
For an LSU grad student, this event hits home.
Quenton Buckhalter, a carrier of sickle cell traits, says he lost his mother to the disease. “Sickle cell disease runs in my family, my mother died of it in 2017. I have sickle cell trait. I am not allowed to donate blood for this reason. That’s why I organized this event today to really still, you know, do my part in the community for sickle cell warriors,” he continued.
And many other students had similar stories.
They say that by donating, they not only help someone in need, but also give back to the black community.
“I think health is important to me first and foremost. And I think giving blood to people who need it, like people with sickle cell disease, I think is the first step,” said Jonathan Young, a student at Southern University. Another student, Braianna Hollins, accepted. “Actually, I have a niece. She has sickle cell disease, so she has to go ahead and get blood transfusions. Many times to be able to help him. It makes me really happy because if people donate blood, what else will people with sickle cell disease do? »