Blood Drive Finds Matches
Â A local resident donates blood at the Childrens Hospital Blood Drive at the Taste of Soul. Donating blood is not painful and it only takes about 10 minutes. - Jason Lewis for Sentinel
By Jason LewisSentinel Staff Writer
As thousands of Los Angeles residents enjoyed great food, great music, and a great event at the Taste of Soul, a number of people took time out of their day to donate blood to the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA).
Patricia LeBlanc of the Childrens Hospital said that it was a spirited event that helped children with sickle cell anemia.
LeBlanc said that about 50% of the donors were matches for children at the hospital, which is a great number. She said that there have been blood drives where out of many donors there are only a few matches, so this event was a success.
"We feel that it was a blessing that the Sentinel gave us the opportunity to make the community aware of our cause," LeBlanc said.
About 400 patients with sickle cell disease are treated at the CHLA. The CHLA is home to one of the nation's premiere centers for treating sickle cell disease, an inherited disorder affecting an estimated 70,000 Americans. Left untreated, the disease can cause intense pain, stroke, and organ damage that can ultimately be fatal.
Children who do not receive the right type of blood will eventually die, and that death can be very painful.
One in 400 African Americans has sickle cell disease. The problem with treating the disease is finding the right match, because many people do not step forward to donate blood, which is why the blood drive at the Taste of Soul was so important.
African American children need blood donated by other African Americans.
You can still help out by donating blood. Visit their website at www.Childrenshospitalla.Org and click on "Get Involved" for more information on where you can donate blood. Or call (323) 361-2441.
Contrary to belief, donating blood is not painful at all, and it only takes a few minutes. There are many children who are in serious pain. A prink that you will feel for only a split second could take their pain away.