People of Asian Descent Need Blood Donations from Members of Their Community
Blood donations are critical for everyone, as maintaining an adequate and safe blood supply benefits anyone who needs blood – and someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. But it’s also important to make sure that the blood supply is diversified – that it comes from people of as many different backgrounds as possible.
This is especially important for people with thalassemia (sometimes called Cooley’s anemia, after Dr. Thomas Benton Cooley, who first diagnosed it), a genetic blood disorder that is disproportionately found among people of Asian descent. Those with the most severe forms of thalassemia require lifelong blood transfusions, as often as every two weeks. And when a person gets blood that frequently, their body may over time react negatively to certain substances (called antigens) in the blood that is donated. When they get blood that comes from people who share a similar background, the blood is less likely to contain the antigens that their body reacts against.
In the videos on this page, Radhika explains what it’s like needing lifelong transfusions and Ben shares a story about not letting thalassemia limit him. People with thalassemia need blood that is as close a match as possible – and that can only happen if more people in the Asian American community donate blood.
Please make a commitment to donating blood today and help keep people with thalassemia – and anyone who needs blood – safe and healthy! Click the link below to learn more.
The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation – www.thalassemia.org