Blood Drive Commemorates First World Sickle Cell Day
New York, NY – New York Blood Center (NYBC) will hold a blood drive on Friday, June 19 in recognition of the first annual World Sickle Cell Day. NYBC calls upon the community to remember the children and families whose lives have been affected by sickle cell, and urges people of diverse cultures and ethnicities to please donate blood at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 1st Avenue and 47th Street in Manhattan from 12:30PM to 6:00PM.
On 22nd December, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly recognized sickle cell disease as a global health problem and declared June 19, 2009 as the first sickle cell disease awareness day at UN headquarters, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations (UN).
New York Blood Center will join forces with the Sickle Cell Thalassemia Patient Network (SCTPN) and the Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network (QSCAN) for a day long festival at Hammarskjold Plaza from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, featuring music, food, entertainment and special guests. Other World Sickle Cell Day activities include patient testimonies, a week long art exhibition, panels and round table discussions, a first ladies’ meeting and a gala dinner.
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with sickle cell anemia have red blood cells that contain an abnormal type of hemoglobin. These cells can become crescent shaped, and have difficulty passing through the body’s small blood vessels. This eventually damages vessels and tissues, causing the complications of sickle cell disease. There is currently no universal cure.
To inherit sickle cell, a child must inherit two abnormal genes, one from each parent. With only one gene, he or she will inherit the sickle cell trait. Approximately 54,000 babies are born each year with sickle cell trait. In the U.S., sickle cell disease is most common in African Americans and those of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian ancestry. There are between 70,000-80,000 Americans with sickle cell disease and 3.5 million with related disorders.
Blood Donors play a key role in the fight against Sickle Cell Disease. People with sickle cell disease require repeated transfusions of healthy red blood cells to replace their “sickled” ones. Over time, patients may develop a number of antibodies (immune responses) in his or her blood, requiring more and more precisely matched red cell transfusions. Blood donations from more multi-cultural donors are needed to maintain a diverse inventory of compatible blood. You can help by organizing a blood drive within your community, house of worship, or place of work.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during the summer. Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16, who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria. People over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
To donate blood, please call:
Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566 or
About New York Blood Center:
New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to patients in greater New York since 1964. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals and transfusion medicine physicians.