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Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau partners with American Red Cross to host sickle cell awareness blood drive

The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a regional blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, at Southland Center in Lynwood.

The drive is being held to raise awareness for sickle cell disease. Currently, there are about 100,000 people in the United States with sickle cell, of whom 90% are of African descent. 

Blood transfusions to those with sickle cell often reduce the risk of complications and symptoms associated with the disease. A close blood type match is essential and is found in donors of the same race or similar ethnicity; one donation saves approximately three lives.

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“The Chicago Southland CVB is committed to serving the 62 municipalities we represent, including the individuals who call this wonderful region home. We would like to encourage residents to come out and support the sickle cell patients in our communities,” said Jim Garret, president and CEO of the Chicago Southland CVB.

To donate blood, appointments are preferred. To make an appointment, call 1-800-733-2767 or book online by visiting rcblood.org/3hRcvNK. Potential donors may also visit RedCrossBlood.org and use the sponsor keyword “LynwoodCVB” to book an appointment. 

All self-identified African American blood donors will be screened for the sickle cell trait, with results available in one to two weeks. All donors will receive a free health screening prior to donating. Plus, all donors will receive a digital $10 Amazon gift card as a thanks for giving blood.

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