INDIANAPOLIS — On Sunday, February 20, the American Red Cross of Indiana in partnership with WRTV, 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, and Martin University’s National Center of Racial Equity and Inclusion (NCREI) will be hosting a Black History Month Blood Drive at Martin University’s Gathertorium.
"We need Black donors to come out and give blood," Hyacinth Rucker, Regional Communications Manager with American Red Cross of Indiana, said.
She hopes the call will resonate with the Black community in Central Indiana because it ties in with their Sickle Cell Initiative. The goal is to get more Black donors to help people with a disease that primarily impacts the Black community. According to the CDC, Sickle Cell Disease occurs in about 1 out of every 365 Black births. About 1 in 13 Black babies are born with the sickle cell trait.
"It makes it to where the blood is a good match for someone that has sickle cell," she said.
Shealtiel Jordan, who's living with Sickle Cell, knows first-hand the importance of blood donations. Diagnosed as a child, Jordan went through the usual ups and downs for someone with the blood disorder. However, one of the scariest moments for her came at what is typically the happiest moment in a person's life.
"I never really wanted a blood transfusion. I didn't have to have a blood transfusion until just a little before my 21st birthday when I had my son," Jordan said. "If I didn't get it, that was going to be the end of me. I was going to see the Lord."
The American Society of Hematology estimates between 70,000 to 100,000 Americans are living with Sickle Cell Disease. There's an unknown amount of people who go undiagnosed.
Common signs and symptoms of Sickle Cell include the following:
- Dark urine
- Yellow eyes
- Painful swelling of hands and feet
- Frequent pain episodes
- Stunted growth
There's no common cure for Sickle Cell Disease, but blood transfusions are one of the best treatments available, which is why the American Red Cross of Indiana is encouraging more people to come donate and give the gift of life.
Blind mole that swims through sand rediscovered after nearly 100 yearsA blind golden mole that glides through sand has been rediscovered in South Africa, 87 years after wildlife experts feared it had gone extinct.
Macaulay Culkin celebrated by ‘Home Alone’ mom at his Walk of Fame ceremonyHe’s the boy who was left to his own devices in everyone’s favorite holiday comedy, and on Friday he got some recognition in Hollywood.
Indiana cruises past Maryland 65-53 on Friday in a Big Ten Conference openerThe contest marked the earliest the Hoosiers have opened Big Ten play since defeating Northwestern 68-66 on Dec. 1, 2018.
Vandals destroy statute, stairs at St. Mary Catholic ChurchIMPD is looking for the vandals who damaged a historic church downtown Indianapolis early Thursday morning.