Blood Drive at Taste of Soul
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Staff Writer
Taste of Soul is an event that brings our community together for some laughs, smiles, great food, and great music.Â We see old friends, meet new friends, and simply have fun in the sun.
Taste of Soul is also an event that raises awareness to our community's needs.Â One of those needs is the need for our residents to donate blood to help children with sickle cell disease.Â There is a drastic shortage of African American blood donors to assist needy children stricken with sickle cell anemia.
About 400 patients with sickle cell disease are treated at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).Â 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.Â Left untreated, the disease can cause intense pain, stroke and organ damage that can ultimately be fatal.Â
Children who do not receive the right type of blood will eventually die, and that death can be very painful.
The CHLA is asking that residents attend the Taste of Soul and donate blood.Â A moment of discomfort can save a child's life.Â The CHLA will be at the Taste of Soul in a blue bus, which they call the MaxMobile.Â
One in 400 African Americans has sickle cell disease.Â The problem with treating the disease is finding the right match, because many people do not step forward to donate blood.Â
African American children need blood donated by other African Americans.Â The CHLA is able to find matches when coming into the black community, which is why an event as large as the Taste of Soul should draw a high number of matches, but that is only if we as a community step forward and donate blood.
As you're enjoying some fun in the sun, some great food and some great music, just remember that there are children who are not as fortunate to enjoy the day.Â So take out a few minutes of your day and donate some blood.Â
For more information contact the CHLA at 323-361-2441 or visit their website at www.childrenshospitalla.org