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Donate Blood to Help Local Sickle Cell Patients Thrive

Did you know Sickle Cell Disease is the most common hereditary disorder in the United States, affecting over 100,000 people and requiring patients to receive blood transfusions throughout their life? 

Local patients Selina and Brianna have Sickle Cell Disease and rely on volunteer blood donations to stay strong and healthy.

Selina was diagnosed at just two weeks old, which led to a brain disease and a stroke. Today she receives monthly blood exchanges that remove sickle red blood cells and replace them with healthy red blood cells.  

“Selina’s blood transfusions and blood exchanges have helped her health in many ways by keeping her sickle cell levels down and reducing her pain levels so she has minor pain crisis in her body. My daughter Selina and I thank every [blood donor] from the bottom of our beating hearts for your selfless gift. It will go a long way as you have given Selina a lifeline, just at the right time.”  - Yolanda, Selina's Mother (pictured middle)

Brianna was diagnosed at birth and received multiple blood transfusions as part of her treatment until her spleen was removed. Brianna has not needed blood since but may require blood transfusions in the future. Because of generous blood donors, both Selina and Brianna are thriving today.  

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) occurs when abnormally shaped red blood cells block regular blood flow, causing a patient to experience excruciating pain and at risk for strokes and liver damage. Although there is no cure, blood transfusions help relieve the pain a patient is experiencing.  

There is a critical need to find donors who match the ethnicities of Sickle Cell patients. The majority of people living with Sickle Cell Disorder are of African descent. But 1 in 3 African American donors is a match for a sickle cell patient. San Diego Blood Bank urges the African American community to consider becoming blood donors. These donations directly impact local families, neighbors, and friends who have sickle cell disease.

Be a beacon of hope for patients in need by giving life.  

We encourage San Diegans to roll up a sleeve for Sickle Cell Awareness Month and donate blood so that patients like Selina and Brianna can continue to receive lifesaving treatments.   

To donate, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, be free of any major cold or flu-like symptoms. If you are unable to donate, we encourage you to spread the word to family and friends and encourage them to save a life!   

Want to learn more about becoming a blood donor? Visit our FAQs to get answers to all your questions. 

Sources: Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals (ADRP) Public Awareness Resources. 2021