Blood Drive for Sickle Cell Disease and Maternal Health
Sign Up for the CTU Foundation Blood Drive and Panel Discussion
On Thursday, February 1, between 2 and 7 pm, the CTU Human Rights Committee and CTU Foundation present their joint blood drive and panel discussion on sickle cell anemia and Black maternal health issues.
Panel Discussion on the Science and Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease and its Intersection with Maternal Health is from 5 to 6 pm.
All are invited, even if you are not donating blood for the blood drive!
The panelists will discuss what sickle cell disease is and why there’s a disparate impact on people of color. We are hosting this panel to open Black History Month to honor the contributions of Henrietta Lacks and to honor those who continue fighting against this disease today.
This year, to commemorate Black History Month, the blood drive focuses on the importance of sickle cell awareness and maternal health, with the panel of doctors and educators sharing the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, whose own maternal health struggle was identified by doctors when she was pregnant and complained about a knot in her stomach and then was treated for cervical cancer when her unique cells were stolen for research that revolutionized sickle cell treatment. Lack’s cells (HeLa Cells) were used to create hydroxyurea treatment that 70% of Sickle Cell Disease patients use today. The panel will also highlight the unfair treatment of sickle cell patients, the lack of sickle cell crisis teams at the hospitals, and the accessibility of the new CRISPR treatment. And to bring awareness that most Black women do not learn about sickle cell trait until they are pregnant and discuss the signs. Sickle cell disease affects 1 in 365 Black Americans, which is 10 times the rate for all Americans.
In 2021, The American Red Cross launched a national initiative to reach more blood donors who are Black to help patients with sickle cell disease and improve health outcomes. In the U.S., it is estimated that over 100,000 people have sickle cell disease and may require regular blood transfusions throughout their lifetime. Blood transfusions are essential in managing the very real pain and long-term health of those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race or similar ethnicity and blood type are the most effective way to help patients experiencing a sickle cell crisis. Since the majority of people with sickle cell are of African descent, blood donations from Black individuals are critical in helping those suffering from this disease.
Sponsored by The American Red Cross, Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois, National Pan-Hellenic Council of Central Suburban Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union, and the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation.
The American Red Cross Blood Drive
The American Red Cross hosts a safe, friendly, and healthy blood drive at the CTU Center. Sign up now to reserve your time slot to donate blood between 2 pm and 7 pm. When registration, please note: Share your heart! Come give in February for a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. See rcblood.org/heart
We need at least 40 donors for this event to fulfill our blood donation goals from last year. Please help us double our efforts for 2024!!!
Giving blood is safe, and simple and helps save lives. Each pint of blood that is donated may be helping as many as three people. The American Red Cross is the largest single provider of blood in the country. They provide blood to 3,000 hospitals across the country. About 38,000 people in the United States need blood each day. Those people count on volunteer donors to give them a chance at life. Many individuals who are Black have distinct markers on their red blood cells that make their donations ideal for helping patients with sickle cell disease. More than half of blood donors who are Black have blood that is free of C, E and K antigens – making them the best match for those with sickle cell disease.
Eligibility: If you are at least 17 years old, 16 years old with a signed Red Cross parental/guardian consent form where state permits, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health, you may be eligible to give blood. High school students and other donors 18 years old and younger must also meet other height and weight requirements.