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American Red Cross hosts Sickle Cell Disease blood drive, despite drop in donors

The American Red Cross continued its fight against Sickle Cell Disease in its latest blood drive, but says the number of donors this year has dropped dramatically.

HAMPTON, Va. — Sickle Cell Disease doesn't have a cure yet, but the American Red Cross knows your blood donations can help save lives in the meantime.

Sickle Cell Disease is a blood disorder that can cause painful swelling in your hands and feet. People suffering from this disease often need blood transfusions, even as frequently as once a month.

Head of American Red Cross Sickle Cell Recruitment, Eric Majette, said the number of donors has been down significantly this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

RELATED: Red Cross begins testing blood donations for coronavirus antibodies

"We have a tremendous need for African Americans to donate blood on behalf of sickle cell patients so they can get those transfusions," said Majette.

The Red Cross held the blood drive at the Hampton Coliseum Monday morning in which they also tested for COVID-19 antibodies. One donor, Linda Dickerson, said her brother got the coronavirus and she wanted to see if she could be a part of the effort for antibody testing.

"I'm always wanting to donate and try to help. I've gotten updates on where my blood has gone, how it's been used to help people. It's just a great feeling overall," said Dickerson.

Majette said he hopes these blood drives help create awareness to bring more donors in for the next events they hold to fight Sickle Cell Disease together.