BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana State University and Southern University have partnered again – this time to help victims who suffer from sickle cell disease. According to the CDC, Sickle cell affects 100,000 Americans in their everyday lives.
The Sickle cell association of South Louisiana is partnering with the divine nine organizations from LSU and Southern to get more black people to donate blood to help those in the community facing sickle cell.
“Being that most people with sickle cell disease in America are Black or brown individuals. It’s better to have the blood come from a person of the same race as them,” explained the organizer of the “Unity Blood Drive Block Party” event Quenton Buckhalter.
About 1 in 13 Black babies are born with the sickle cell trait. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sickle cell impacts the Black and Hispanic communities the most.
For one LSU graduate student, this event hits home.
Quenton Buckhalter, a carrier of sickle cell traits, says he lost his mom to the disease. “Sickle cell runs in my family, my mother passed away from it in 2017. I have the sickle cell trait. I am not allowed to donate blood because of that reason. So that is why I put on this event today to really still, you know, do my part in the community for sickle cell warriors,” he continued.
And many more students had similar stories.
They say by donating they are not only helping someone in need but also giving back to the Black community.
“I think health is important to me, first of all, first and foremost. And I think donating blood to people who need it, like people with sickle cell, I think this is the first step,” claimed Jonathan Young, a student at Southern University. Another student, Braianna Hollins, agreed. “I actually have a niece. She has sickle cell, so she has to go ahead and get blood transfusions. A lot of times to be able to help her. It really makes me happy because if the people that donate blood, then what else will people with sickle cell do?”