The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to our daily lives but it also severely affected our medical resources. One of the main resources that have been depleted is blood! Due to so many blood drives being canceled there is now a huge shortage of blood across the country. This shortage has gravely impacted members of the Sickle Cell community who rely on blood to survive.
On average a Sickle Cell patient receives a blood transfusion once or twice a month to manage their condition and prevent complications. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local blood banks such as the Gulf Coast Regional were forced to cancel blood drives, which resulted in a nationwide shortage of blood. There is a major need for blood donors who are Black, African American or of African descent to increase the compatibility rate of blood for sickle cell patients’ transfusions.
The Houston-based As One Foundation is a nonprofit Sickle Cell organization that will be hosting an emergency Blood Drive to support Sickle cell warriors. The organization has teamed up with One Delta Plaza Educational Center for a day of caring blood drive in honor of International Sickle Cell Caregivers Day.
“When we were made aware of the blood shortage that was affecting the blood banks we wanted to do everything that we could do to help,” said One Delta Plaza Board Chair Dr. Bernadine Duncan. “Although it is Sickle Cell Caregiver Appreciation Day, the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank serves the entire Southeast Houston community. Anything that we can do to help them is a major honor. To be able to also raise awareness about Sickle Cell Disease and the As One Foundation is an added bonus.”
The event will take place Thursday, July 29, 2021, at One Delta Plaza Educational Center located at 3333 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX 77021, from 1 pm to 6 pm.
Attendees will be able to donate blood, enjoy live music, refreshments and giveaways.
Through their partnership with PicnicHealth the organization will also be offering $200 to sickle cell patients who sign up for the new Picnic Health sickle cell app. The app helps to keep track of flare-ups and organize medical records for Sickle Cell patients.