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September 6, 2007

Sept. 24: Community blood, bone marrow, organ donor drive

U-M Comprehensive Pediatric Sickle Cell Program, Ann Arbor Community Center, American Red Cross partner to commemorate Sickle Cell Awareness Month

ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan Comprehensive Pediatric Sickle Cell Program and the Ann Arbor Community Center, along with the American Red Cross, will host a community blood, bone marrow and organ donor drive to commemorate Sickle Cell Awareness Month.

Andrew Campbell, MDThe event will take place from 1 – 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, at the Ann Arbor Community Center, 625 N. Main Street in Ann Arbor. Participants will have the opportunity to donate blood, be tested to become a bone marrow donor, and sign up to become a part of the organ donor registry.

About 1 in 500 African Americans have sickle cell disease, an inherited, life-long disease that causes abnormal red blood cells. A serious complication of the disease is stroke, and there is a 70 percent chance of recurrence. Regular blood transfusions are the only way to prevent another stroke.  

For patients who need blood transfusions as treatment for their disease, the best transfusion match is from someone of the same ethnic group.  While the disease affects many ethnic groups, it is most prevalent in the African Americans. That’s why African Americans are needed to donate blood regularly to support patients with sickle cell disease.  

“Currently, blood donations from African Americans are not keeping pace with the need of sickle cell disease patients,” says Andrew D. Campbell, M.D., director of  the Pediatric Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We believe that African Americans are not aware of this great need and the importance of regular blood donations — at least three times a year.  Hence, in preparation for the donor drive, creating awareness and education are top priorities.”   

To take part in the Sept. 24 event, contact the Ann Arbor Community Center at (734) 662-3128. Or, to register online, go to  www.givelife.org and enter sponsor code “AAC.”

For more information about sickle cell disease, visit the U-M Comprehensive Pediatric Sickle Cell Program or UMHS Health Topics A-Z.

Written by Krista Hopson

 

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