Campus News

University, Black Student Union partner to host blood drive for Sickle Cell awareness

Students lined up to donate blood at UW-Madison School of Education on Tuesday afternoon.

Image By: Jon Yoon

Students signed up and lined up to donate blood in UW-Madison’s School of Education for the first Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive of the semester Tuesday afternoon to combat a disease that disproportionately affects African American men.

The American Red Cross drive — intended to provide blood to those who suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia, a genetic disorder that impacts the functionality of red blood cells — were already approaching their goal of 25 blood donors for the day just a few hours into their effort.

According to student volunteer Tashiana Lipscomb, the Red Cross aims to draw blood from 25 people per event. Lipscomb said the event had 11 pre-registrations and already had nine walk-ins within the first hour of the drive.

The event was hosted by the Morgridge Center for Public Service, however various student organizations were also involved in the drive. Wisconsin Black Student Union and AHANA Pre-Health Society members volunteered and raised awareness for the event.

According to the drive’s event page, Sickle Cell Disease disproportionately impacts African-American males. Therefore, the page said, it is “important that blood donors reflect the ethnic diversity of the patients who receive their blood.”

Lipscomb, who is also a member of the WBSU, said her organization became involved to increase the amount of student support and awareness for the cause.

Lipscomb said she hopes the event highlighted the impact that donating blood to combat Sickle Cell Disease creates, and that this could encourage even more blood drives in the future.

“There is a presence of African-Americans, even in Madison, who are affected by Sickle Cell Disease every day, and the WBSU wanted to get involved to help support them,” Lipscomb said.

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