One in twelve African Americans carry the sickle cell trait. While sickle cell carriers don’t normally experience symptoms or complications, they can pass the disease on to their children. When a child inherits two sickle cell genes, (one from each parent) he or she is born with the disease. One in 500 African-American babies are born with sickle cell disease.
Planting the seed of awareness within our families can encourage future generations to donate blood and register with the Be The Match Registry fulfilling the needs of African-American patients
- Less than 3% of eligible African Americans donate blood in South Texas.
- Most African Americans have O or B type blood – types that frequently run low in our nation’s blood supply.
- Some African-American patients have rare blood types that are found only in their ethnic group.
- The only known cure for sickle cell disease is a marrow or cord blood transplant. Because tissue types are inherited, matches are more likely found within the same ethnic group.
- Out of the 6 million bone marrow donors currently registered with the Be The Match Registry, only 8% are African American.