Help ease patient pain during Sickle Cell Awareness Month

One in 3 African American blood donors is a match for people with sickle cell disease

During Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, the American Red Cross emphasizes the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease – the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S.

Sickle cell disease impacts more than 100,000 people across the country, most of whom are of African descent. Regular blood transfusions are critical to managing extreme pain and life-threatening complications faced by many. Unfortunately, they may develop an immune response against blood from donors that is not closely matched to their own. However, because most individuals who are Black have unique structures on their red blood cells that are not often found in other donor populations, 1 in 3 African American blood donors is a match for people with sickle cell disease.

Seasonal changes can trigger pain crises for those battling sickle cell – possibly increasing the need for lifesaving blood transfusions. As summer ends, book a time to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you, all who come to give through Sept. 18 will get an exclusive Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Life-threatening complications
Sickle cell disease distorts red blood cells and makes them rigid and crescent-shaped. “Sickled red cells can obstruct blood vessels which can cause severe pain, and potentially lead to stroke and organ failure,” says Dr. John Weiss, Medical Director, American Red Cross of Wisconsin. “Blood transfusions contain healthy red cells to provide the needed oxygen to tissues and organs, and to help minimize crises sickle cell patients may face.”

It’s a pain that Shanice Williams knows all too well. Shanice suffers from sickle cell disease, and the Milwaukee woman has received numerous blood transfusions to deal with the disease. Due to her own pain and the loss of others around her from sickle cell disease, Shanice has become an advocate for blood donations, including at an upcoming drive she’s hosting. “Blood products are an every day need for sickle cell patients, even those not receiving regular transfusions.”

Joined by Blood
To help ensure patients have the blood products they need, the American Red Cross is working with partners in the Black community to grow the number of blood donors who are Black through the sickle cell initiative, which launched in 2021. In the first year of the initiative, the number of first-time African American blood donors who gave with the Red Cross increased by 60%. In September and October, the Red Cross launches Joined by Blood, a fall component of the initiative where the Red Cross is teaming up with community organizations, like the National Pan-Hellenic Council and others, to host blood drives and inspire donors who are Black to give blood to support patients with sickle cell disease. To learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/OurBlood.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Sept. 7-Oct. 7:

Wisconsin
Brown
De Pere
9/19/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Keller Willams, Keller Williams, 1674 Eisenhower Rd.
9/28/2022: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., St Norbert College Michel’s Commons, 110 Grant St
9/28/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Francis Xavier, 220 S Michigan St
10/3/2022: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Our Lady of Lourdes, 1307 Lourdes Ave
10/4/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Town of Ledgeview, 3700 Dickinson Rd.

Denmark
9/12/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 435 Wisconsin Ave

Green Bay
9/7/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/8/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Broadview YMCA Allouez, 380 Broadview Drive
9/9/2022: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Elks Lodge, 3195 S. Ridge Rd.
9/9/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/10/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/11/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/12/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/12/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ashwaubenon Community Center, 900 Anderson Dr.
9/13/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/13/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 2335 S Webster Ave
9/14/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Capital Credit Union, 825 Morris Ave
9/14/2022: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Kress Center, 2358 Leon Bond Drive
9/14/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/16/2022: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Elks Lodge, 3195 S. Ridge Rd.
9/16/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/17/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/18/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/19/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/19/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Calavera Springs Park Pavilion, 2694 Flintville Rd.
9/20/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/21/2022: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Delta Air Lines GRB, 2077 Airport Dr.
9/21/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/23/2022: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Elks Lodge, 3195 S. Ridge Rd.
9/23/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/24/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/25/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/26/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/27/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., YMCA Howard, 601 Cardinal Ln
9/27/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/28/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
9/29/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Automobile Gallery and Event Center, 400 S. Adams St.
9/30/2022: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Elks Lodge, 3195 S. Ridge Rd.
9/30/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
10/1/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
10/2/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
10/3/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
10/3/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bethel Lutheran Church, 1350 Bond St
10/4/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
10/5/2022: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Festival Foods, 2430 University Avenue
10/5/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave
10/6/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Badger State Brewing Co, Badger State Brewing Company, 990 Tony Canadeo Run
10/7/2022: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Elks Lodge, 3195 S. Ridge Rd.
10/7/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave

Greenleaf
9/20/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Morrison Town Hall, 3792 Park Road

Pulaski
9/21/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Assumption BVM Church, 124 E Pulaski St

Wrightstown
9/7/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., St Paul Catholic Church, 437 Main Street
9/29/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Wrightstown High School, 600 High St

Door
Sister Bay
10/4/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., First Baptist Church, 2622 S Bayshore Dr

Washington Island
10/5/2022: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 1763 Town Line Rd

Fond du Lac
Campbellsport
9/13/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Drexel Training Center, 101 N Fond Du Lac Ave

Fond du Lac
9/7/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Thrive Church, 79 E 2nd St
9/20/2022: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave
9/20/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave
9/22/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Church of Peace, 158 S Military Rd

North Fond du Lac
9/9/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., North Fond du lac Community Center, 280 Garfield St.

Oakfield
9/14/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Oakfield Community Center, 130 N Main St

Ripon
10/4/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Royal Ridges, 1 Westgate Drive

Rosendale
9/13/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Peace Lutheran Church, 124 S Main St

Green Lake
Green Lake
9/22/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Town Square Community Center, 492 HILL STREET

Kewaunee
Algoma
9/28/2022: 1:15 p.m. – 6 p.m., Algoma Youth Club, 620 Lake St

Luxemburg
9/26/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St John Lutheran Church, 700 Heritage Rd
10/3/2022: 11:45 a.m. – 6 p.m., Pilsen Church, E860 Hwy 29
10/3/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St. Louis School Hall, N8726 County Line Rd
10/7/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Pauls Lutheran Church and School, N4118 Cty Rd AB

Manitowoc
Manitowoc
9/12/2022: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Shoreline Credit Union, 4400 Calumet Avenue
9/19/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 11303 Wehausen Rd

Marinette
Marinette
9/8/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pine Tree Mall, 2800 Roosevelt Rd.
9/15/2022: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bellin Health Marinette, 2820 Roosevelt
9/15/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., NWTC Marinette, 1601 University Drive
9/16/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pine Tree Mall, 2800 Roosevelt Rd.
9/29/2022: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Univ of WI Marinette Union, 750 W Bayshore
9/30/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 2714 James Street

Pembine
9/26/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Beecher Town Hall, W7971 County Rd Z

Peshtigo
9/19/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran, 331 Pine Street

Wausaukee
9/12/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., St Augustine, 507 Church St

Menominee
Keshena
9/30/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Menominee Casino, N277 Highway 4755, Duquaine Rd

Oconto
Gillett
9/23/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Gillett Library Community Center, 204 E. Main Street

Oconto
9/23/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Oconto Knights of Columbus, 716 Madison St.
9/27/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Oconto County Employees, 301 Washington St
10/6/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Bond Community Center, 1201 Park Ave

Oconto Falls
9/26/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Anthony Parish, 253 N Franklin Street

Suring
9/22/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Breed Community Center, Breed Community Center, 11155 WI-32

Outagamie
Appleton
9/22/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., The Grand Meridian, 2621 N Oneida Street

Kimberly
9/15/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Capital Credit Union, Capital Credit Union, 855 Eisenhower Dr.

Shawano
Bonduel
9/27/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Bonduel High School, 400 W Green Bay St

Bowler
10/7/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Bowler High School, 500 S Almon

Shawano
9/15/2022: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Life Church, 222 Mills St
9/26/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Shawano City Hall, Shawano City Hall, 127 S Sawyer St

Waupaca
Iola
9/28/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Community Fitness & Aquatic Center, Adjacent to HS, 445 S Jackson St

Marion
9/23/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Marion High School, 105 School St

Waupaca
9/12/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Waupaca Recreation Center, 407 School St

Weyauwega
10/5/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., St Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 105 N Lincoln

Waushara
Coloma
9/24/2022: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 409 N Slater St

Winnebago
Neenah
9/19/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1140 Tullar Rd

Oshkosh
9/7/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Oshkosh Community YMCA Downtown, 324 Washington ave
9/9/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Qamar Mosque, 300 N Eagle St
9/27/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., UW Oshkosh Reeve Union, 748 Algoma Blvd

Michigan
Menominee
Powers
9/27/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., North Central High School, W3795 US Hwy 2/41

Stephenson
10/6/2022: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Stephenson Fire Department, Stephenson Fire Department, W628 Samuel St

Testing for sickle cell trait
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.