The National Pan-Hellenic Council and VenuWorks of Chesapeake, LLC are teaming with the American Red Cross to co-sponsor the 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Blood Drive on January 15, 2018. It will take place at the Chesapeake Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Organizers say the blood drive on King Day is designed to focus attention on how critical the giving of blood by African-Americans is to meeting the needs of minority communities. At the same time, it honors Dr. King’s legacy of service on his National Holiday.
According to the Red Cross, it is extremely important to increase the number of blood donors from all ethnic groups to ensure certain blood types unique to specific racial and ethnic groups are available. Red blood cells carry markers called antigens on their surface that determine a person’s blood type. There are more than 600 known antigens besides A and B, and when patients receive blood that closely matches their own type, they are at a lower risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy.
In the case of treating patients with sickle cell anemia, blood donations from various ethnic groups is critical. Throughout the United States, about 100,000 children and adults of various races and ethnicities have sickle cell disease – with over 90 percent of patients being of African descent. Blood from people of the same race is especially vital to ensuring the best treatment outcomes for these patients.
To engage and encourage eligible African-Americans to roll up their sleeves, the drive will be held from 9:00 a.m. through 3 p.m. at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake VA.
To schedule an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org/Panhellenic.