Blood Drives Aim to Fight Sickle Cell Disease

Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2012 --- 12:50 p.m.

Press Release from UW-Madison:

MADISON - Blood drives set for Friday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 21 will underscore the importance of blood donation as a way to help fight sickle cell disease, or SCD.

Sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Madison and UW-Madison's Morgridge Center for Public Service, with the help and partnership of the Red Cross, the drives will encourage donation and bring attention to the problems associated with SCD.

The disease is a blood disorder that primarily affects African Americans. There is no cure for the disease, and SCD patients often need many blood transfusions. Donors with the same ethnic background usually make the best match.

"African Americans make up less than 1 percent of all blood donors," says Mary Rouse, coordinator of the blood drives, who points out that far more African Americans need blood than those who are donating. "We hope to raise awareness and demonstrate the value of blood donation to the entire community."

The Feb. 10 drive will be held from 1-6 p.m. at the Urban League's headquarters at 2222 S. Park St., and Bucky Badger will make an appearance from 4-5 p.m. that day. The Feb. 21 drive will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Red Gym on campus at 716 Langdon St.

Appointments are preferred and can be arranged by calling 800-REDCROSS or visiting The sponsor code is: Madison sickle cell.

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