The Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) is partnering with The American Red Cross in hosting a Sickle Cell Blood Drive this Saturday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.-1:45 p.m. ULGM, located at 2222 S. Park St. on Madison’s South Side, will be providing free health screenings for all who donate during the event.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition caused by a pathogenic gene variant in the blood, red blood cells take on an irregular shape due to the lack of oxygen, which causes more blockages and concerns of oxygen traveling throughout the bloodstream. Sickle cell disease is also recessive, meaning that a newborn must receive a copy of the pathogenic gene variant from both parents. Individuals with only one copy of the recessive sickle cell trait will be at risk of passing the recessive gene to their children as well, but at a less severe rate.
Blood donations have remained an essential source of treatment for communities experiencing this disease. A 2022 study found that “the majority of individuals with sickle cell disease at Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital resided in Milwaukee County.” This discrepancy is due to many extenuating social factors, and many communities of color are experiencing this disease at a disproportionate rate.
The Urban League held its first Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive back in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital eight years ago to let people know about the importance of sickle cell awareness blood drives. Since then, they have held many successful events.
Register online to find more information about this blood drive. Scheduling appointments ahead of time is strongly encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.