June 19 is a special day this year.
Not only is it Father’s Day and Juneteenth, it also has been designated as World Sickle Cell Day as a way to raise international awareness about sickle cell disease.
What is sickle cell disease?
Most red blood cells are round, which allows them to easily travel and carry oxygen through the body.
Sickle cell disease is a chronic blood disease that causes the hemoglobin in red blood cells to take an abnormal C-shape, or a sickle shape. These sickle cells have a harder time traveling through the body. They also die faster than healthy blood cells and can cause what is known as sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell disease affects those in our community
For sickle cell anemia patients and sisters like Kami and Kyra, blood donations from the community are critical.
They have needed more than 100 blood transfusions as treatment to help manage severe, recurring episodes of pain and fatigue.
Sickle cell disease occurs in 1 out of every 365 Black or African American births and affects about 100,000 Americans.
How can you help?
By being a blood donor, you can give sickle cell anemia patients a chance at a normal life: return to school, dance, play sports, volunteer, and much more.
Support patients this World Sickle Cell Day by scheduling your donation at SouthTexasBlood.org/Give or by hosting a blood drive.