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Blood services provider ImpactLife unveiled its “Red4Life” program this month to better serve those suffering from sickle cell diseases.
Blood donors with the antigen necessary for treating sickle cell diseases will receive an extra 800 points in the ImpactLife Loyalty Store after making their fourth donation in a year.
ImpactLife staff have also been working to expand its donor base, according to a news release.
Sickle cell diseases, which are hereditary and mostly impact people of African descent, affects red blood cells. The cells, which are normally round, turn into the shape of a sickle and therefore can obstruct blood flow, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Tiffani Jackson, a college student, is among those with sickle cell diseases. She said in the news release that blood donations are “very important” for her survival.
“Sickle cell attacks threaten your oxygen, it makes it feel like glass is being shattered all over your body and you really just don’t know if you’re going to survive the attack once it happens,” Jackson said.
“When I get to the hospital and all pain treatments have been exhausted, meaning no medications are helping, nothing is working, blood does.”
The organization, which previously was called the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, also has been raising awareness in September for childhood cancer and the importance of blood donations to treat patients. Those who donate in September will receive either a T-shirt or gift card, the blood center said.
The renewed push for blood donations come as ImpactLife has three or fewer days of inventory for most blood types, according to the news release.
ImpactLife’s service area spans from eastern Missouri to southern Wisconsin and covers most of Eastern Iowa, including Linn and Johnson counties.
Those looking to donate can call (800) 747-5401 or go to bloodcenter.org.
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