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Observe National Sickle Cell Awareness Month this September by donating blood with the American Red Cross

           Help maintain a diverse blood supply to meet the needs of all patients

PEORIA, Ill. (Aug. 18, 2014) — The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood in honor of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month this September.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects as many as 100,000 people in the U.S. Many of these patients face a lifetime of blood transfusions to help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs and other complications that can arise as a result of sickle cell disease.

Since blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply. This is particularly important for patients like those with sickle cell disease who may require regular blood transfusions.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Ford County
Sept. 15 from 3-7 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church, 110 E. Illinois St. in Sibley, Ill.

Iroquois County
Sept. 8 from 1-6:30 p.m. at Sheldon Community Center, 104 S. Fourth in Sheldon, Ill.
Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Iroquois Memorial Hospital, 200 E.Fairman Ave. in Watseka, Ill.

Kankakee County
Sept. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kankakee Community College, 100 College Drive in Kankakee, Ill.
Sept. 4 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Sept. 5 from 1:45-7 p.m. at Bourbonnais Fire Department, 1080 Armour Road in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Cornerstone Church, 393 Southcreek Drive in Manteno, Ill.
Sept. 11 from 3-7 p.m. at Limestone Fire Department, 4948 W. Route 17 in Kankakee, Ill.
Sept. 11 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walmart, 505 Riverstone Parkway in Kankakee, Ill.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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