Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sickle Cell is a Community Issue
By Danny J. Bakewell Jr. (Contributing Editor)
Published February 19, 2009

There will always come a moment in each of our lives when we are so emotionally touched by something that our shortcomings become secondary.

Such was the case for me when I sat in a meeting recently with officials from Children's Hospital of Los Angeles to discuss the crisis of the necessity of blood for many of its African American sickle cell patients.

A parent myself, I immediately thought of how helpless each of their children were and how challenging their fight for life is.

Frequently it is easy to get caught up in the daily trials of life that such a situation does not get the attention that it deserves. That is until you actually see it with your eyes, then feel it in your heart.

The plight of the sickle disease for African Americans is a grave one, but doesn't have to be.

As the economy reels in its constant tumble, hospitals such as Children's Hospital of Los Angeles suffers as well because they have to purchase blood from the American Red Cross.

Then finding a match that more closely matches that of the patient is a medical riddle that could potentially prevent a child from surviving.

Therefore, I am not just sitting on my hands on this one. I have called on all of my friends to launch a massive blood drive that will help many of these children who look just like yours and mine.

I am challenging each of you to come down to the Sentinel on March 13 and donate blood for these children.

I am pleading with you to help me do for children what they cannot do for themselves. Call on some of your friends and neighbors who are in good health and ask them to join you in this most important opportunity to save our children.

We often say that the children are our future and now it is up to us to make sure they at least have a chance at it.

Will you please join me and the scores of organizations who have stepped up to give blood? It is something that you have and something that you can afford to give. Help us help our children. Please!


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