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      American Red Cross Blood Drives

      Give blood during Sickle Cell Awareness Month

      Help the American Red Cross meet the needs of patients by donating blood during September, National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that affects around 70,000 in the U.S., most of them of African descent but also some of Spanish, French, Italian, Greek and Turkish descent.

      Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to form in an abnormal crescent shape. One of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease is regular blood transfusions, which can help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs that can lead to severe infections, and other complications.There is currently no cure for sickle cell disease.

      It's important that blood donors reflect the ethnic diversity of the patients who receive their blood. Patients with sickle cell disease - primarily in the African-American community - are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone within their racial and ethnic groups. The Red Cross is committed to maintaining a diverse base of blood donors to help ensure that all blood types are available for patients with serious medical needs.

      Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

      Adair CountySept. 20 from 1-6 p.m. at Adair County R1 High School, 600 Rombauer in Novinger, MO

      Macon CountySept. 28 from 2-6 p.m. at Loch Haven, 701 Sunset Hills Drive in Macon, MO

      Shelby CountySept. 25 from 1-6 p.m. at Father Buhman Center, South Fourth Street in Shelbina, MO Sept. 26 from 2-6 p.m. at Clarence Elementary School, 206 N. Shelby in Clarence, MO

      How to donate bloodSimply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

      About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and clothing to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; ministers international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.