By Penny Black, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas
Lisa Morgan, staff contributor, American Red Cross North Texas
Since Juneteenth and World Sickle Cell Awareness Day fall on June 19, it is a special day.
Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. World Sickle Cell Awareness Day was officially designated by the United Nations to increase public knowledge and understanding of sickle cell disease, and the challenges experienced by patients, their families and caregivers.
The American Red Cross of North Texas has been working with sickle-cell warriors like Shayna Chandler to recruit diverse blood donors. She has participated in viral blood drives since 2016 and wants to pay it forward for the transfusions she’s received as a sickle-cell warrior.
On June 19, 2020, Shayna hosted a successful blood drive in Flower Mound, Texas. Since then, she has recruited black donors to donate blood by signing up through the Red Cross. Shayna hosts blood drives to bring awareness to sickle cell disease and the importance of black donors.
“I don’t take this gift of life for granted,” Shayna said. “I am grateful for the blood donors who have helped me and I hope that I can inspire new ones to help others with sickle cell.”
Kenya Buckley, founder of Carol’s Promise also recognizes the difference blood donors make in the lives of those impacted by sickle cell disease.
“I watched my mother suffer with sickle cell my entire life. I’ve seen it first-hand how patients depend heavily on blood transfusions,” Kenya said. “A close friend was just a few hours from death at the early part of the COVID-19 shutdown and she was pleading on social media from her hospital bed for people to donate.”
People often forget that blood is a perishable product. So the need for blood is constant. On average blood donors can donate every 56 days if they are in good health and feeling well on donation day.
Patients from the same or similar ethnic group(s) respond better to blood donations from donors of the same or close to their ethnic group(s).
Below are a few opportunities to donate:
Saturday, June 19, 2021 | 10 AM – 4PM
Arlington in partnership with Carol’s Promise Sickle Cell Foundation
711 Highlander Blvd |Arlington, TX 76015
Denton in partnership with Butterflies Second Chances Foundation
MLK Recreation Center – 1200 Wilson Street | Denton, TX 76205
Northpark YMCA – 9100 N. Beach Street | Keller, TX 76244
To donate, please check out our upcoming blood drives: Carol’s Promise and Butterflies Second Chance for Sickle Cell Foundations.
We ask for your support by giving your lifesaving blood donation on this day and throughout the year.
To make an appointment, CLICK HERE or visit www.redcrossblood.org or use the Red Cross blood donor app and enter the sponsor code “carolspromise” or “butterfliessecondchance”.
You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767 to book an appointment.
Thank you for helping give the gift of life!