Blood centers stress need for diverse donors

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — We hear a lot about blood centers needing donations, but now they are stressing a need for donations from all ethnicities. It’s something they’re always looking for, but now they’re trying to spread the word that diversity in donors is essential.

“Typically, if you are of the same ethnicity, that means that a lot of your blood antigens are kindof along similar lines. So that’s why we look to pair people with the same ethnic background,” said Community Blood Services of Illinois’ Community Development Advocate Ginny Heiser.

Community Blood Services leaders say African Americans and Latinos tend to be on the lower end of their donation pool. While they need donations from anyone who is willing, they want that population to know their help is especially needed.

There’s a lot more to blood than just the main eight types. Someone’s ethnicity changes what proteins or their blood has in it. That makes big difference when it comes to blood transfusions, especially with sickle cell disease patients. That’s a blood disorder that makes blood cells stiffen and can cause pain and anemia.

People with that disease are also more likely to have a stroke. To help with that, they need regular transfusions. African Americans and Latinos are the most common sickle cell patients. That’s why donations from them are so crucial. However, just because a person has a different ethnic background from someone else doesn’t mean they can’t donate to that other person. It’s really on a case-by-case basis.

The Community Blood Center is always accepting donations. If you are interested in donating blood, you can either stop by their center at 1408 W. University Avenue in Urbana or find them around the community on their mobile bus.

Below is a list of upcoming Red Cross blood drives in Illinois:

Douglas County:

Arcola
9/24/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Country Salvage, 427 E County Rd 200 North
10/7/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Arcola High School, 351 West Washington

Arthur
10/22/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Four Acre, 553 North County Road 240 East

Atwood
10/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., United Church of Atwood, 210 North Main Street


Logan County:

Lincoln
10/16/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Lincoln Sports Complex, 1400 Primm Rd


Macon County:

Argenta
10/1/2019: 1:45 p.m. – 6 p.m., Argenta Bridge Church Fellowship, 520 West Elm

Decatur
9/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St
9/28/2019: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St
10/1/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St
10/8/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St
10/15/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St
10/22/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St
10/26/2019: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Decatur Blood Donation Center, 2674 N. Main St

Mount Zion
9/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, 400 North Whitetail Circle


Mason County:

Havana
10/21/2019: 11:45 a.m. – 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 101 S Charlotte St

Mason City
10/2/2019: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Mason City Monsanto, 36142 SR 10


Piatt County:

Cerro Gordo
10/19/2019: 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., Cerro Gordo Community Civic Center, 304 E North St

Monticello

10/22/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Foursquare Church, 726 E 1700 N Road

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