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Partnering with the American Red Cross and Eric LeGrand to Boost Awareness and Donations for Sickle Cell Disease

Suburban Propane is a longstanding national partner of the American Red Cross, and this past week collaborated on a Sickle Cell Disease blood drive in Fairfield, New Jersey, to boost awareness about this hereditary condition. We were joined by former Rutgers University football player and notable figure, Eric LeGrand whose speech emphasized the importance of increasing blood donations to combat sickle cell disease. Additionally, the Mayor of Fairfield, William Galese, was present at the event.

“Suburban Propane has been a longtime champion of Team LeGrand, and I’m honored to support their partnership with the American Red Cross and its mission to help raise awareness of sickle cell disease here in New Jersey,” said LeGrand.

In a world where medical advancements continue to shape the landscape of healthcare, it’s easy to overlook the power of a simple act like donating blood. However, for individuals battling sickle cell disease, these donations are an essential lifeline. Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, and blood transfusions play a crucial role in managing its symptoms and improving the quality of life for those affected. Below, we emphasize the significance of blood donation for sickle cell disease patients and how it can make a world of difference.

Understanding Sickle Cell Disease:

Sickle cell disease disproportionately affects people in black and brown communities and is an inherited disorder characterized by the abnormal shape of red blood cells. Instead of their usual disc-like shape, these cells become crescent or “sickle” shaped, causing them to get stuck in blood vessels. This results in reduced oxygen supply to tissues, pain, organ damage, anemia, and other complications. While some treatments may provide relief, blood transfusions remain a critical intervention in managing the condition.

Blood transfusions serve as a cornerstone of treatment for sickle cell disease, primarily in two ways:

  1. Increasing Healthy Red Blood Cells: By receiving healthy red blood cells from donors, sickle cell patients can improve their oxygen-carrying capacity. These transfusions help alleviate symptoms, prevent organ damage, and reduce the risk of stroke, allowing individuals to lead healthier lives.
  1. Lowering the Percentage of Sickled Cells: Regular blood transfusions help dilute the proportion of sickled cells in a patient’s bloodstream, reducing the likelihood of painful episodes and complications. This intervention is particularly beneficial for children with sickle cell disease, as it may prevent or delay organ damage and improve growth and development.

Blood donations are crucial for maintaining an adequate supply of healthy red blood cells for sickle cell patients. Here’s why your contribution matters:

Saving Lives: Donating blood can be a life-saving gift for those battling sickle cell disease. Your donation provides hope and relief to individuals who rely on regular transfusions to manage their condition and experience a better quality of life.

Meeting the Ongoing Demand: The need for blood transfusions is constant, as sickle cell disease patients often require repeated transfusions throughout their lives. By donating blood, you help ensure a continuous supply that can meet the growing demand and support these patients in their journey.

Enhancing Treatment Options: Blood donations provide immediate relief to sickle cell disease patients but also contribute to ongoing research and advancements in treatment. Donated blood enables researchers to study the disease, develop new therapies, and improve existing treatments, ultimately aiming for a cure.

The significance of blood donation for sickle cell disease patients cannot be overstated. Your decision to donate blood has the power to transform lives, offering hope, relief, and improved health outcomes for individuals fighting this challenging blood disorder. By understanding the impact of blood transfusions and making regular donations, you become an integral part of the support system for those affected by sickle cell disease. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of these individuals and strive towards a future free from the limitations of this condition.

To become a blood donor simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS to find locations near you for an appointment.

Featured Photo Caption: (L-R) Fairfield Mayor William Galese; Spokesperson Suburban Propane, Nandini Sankara; Advocate, Eric Le Grand; CEO of the American Red Cross New Jersey Region, Rosie Taravella.

For the events Press Release, click here to continue reading.

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