Blood donations encouraged
The month of September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The American Red Cross encourages people to donate blood in order to maintain supplies for those in need.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects as many as 100,000 people in the U.S, according to the Red Cross.
Many affected face a lifetime of blood transfusions to help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs and other complications that can arise as a result of sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply in order to decrease complications.
Red Cross blood drives are scheduled in September. Contact your local officials for dates and locations and near you.