Why More Black People Should Be Blood Donors

DNA

Though millions of people worldwide suffer from Sickle Cell Disease, the general public is still very uninformed about its impact. It’s estimated that about 300,000 children are born with the disease each year. (Source NPR)

According to the CDC, “SCD is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a ‘sickle.’ The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.”

Some people, like myself, have the Sickle Cell Trait but not the disease. This means that we have, “one sickle cell gene and one normal gene.” Sickle Cell Disease can occur when both parents of a child have the trait. In this case, there is a 25% chance of the child having SCD. (Source CDC )

Though Sickle Cell Disease affects people from various ethnic backgrounds, it is highly prevalent in people of African descent. The Sickle Cell Trait may have developed as a natural resistant to Malaria. Researchers believe,”Due to its protective effect against malaria, the sickle mutation may have been naturally selected in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is endemic and one of the major causes of death.” (Source Science Daily)

Some patients require blood transfusions to treat severe anemia. This is where Black blood donors come in because people of similar ethnic backgrounds are more likely to have the same blood type. The success of transfusions highly depends on the similarity in blood types.

Recently one blood donation center encountered some confusion about this and was even accused of being racist for asking for more Black blood donors. Check out their excellent and informative response below:

Based on the explanation above, more Black blood donors will save more Black lives affected by Sickle Cell Disease. Unfortunately, the medical field is highly distrusted by many communities of African descent due to past and recent mistreatment and abuse (Source TheHill). Still the need for Black blood donors exists and would benefit Black patients greatly.

 

Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of OurLegaci.com. To reach Jessica, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JAMAiwuyor.

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The Rebellious Vegetarian

The Rebellious Vegetarian

“if You Re-Bel With A Cause, You won’t be a Rebel Without a Cause” – Last Chance Charlie

‘Eat organic’; ‘Free Range & Cage Free’; ‘Grass fed – no steroids’; ‘wild caught – no nets – on lines‘. 

‘Cramped enclosures‘; ‘de-beaked and abused’; ‘over-farmed &; over-fished’; ‘outbreaks of disease’; ‘Tyson and Monsanto’.

Am I the only one that is getting a little weary of all the Preaching and the Guilt that pervades the Medias’ coverage of, ‘Food – Its Evils and Horrors’. 

That might as well be the Headlines.

Or why do they say things like, “Caught in the dastardly clutches of President Bar-Sinister, Food is the hapless victim in the battle of Good vs. Evil”…

… if what they really mean is “Bi-Partisanship, Cooperation, Compromise and Consensus”?

When they’re not making you feel Guilty, you are made to feel Un-Educated. I’ve heard people with advanced degrees say, “I have a PhD and I couldn’t even figure it out”, about normal everyday things.

That’s the real conspiracy, make everyone dependent on Them.

That is why you hear words like, “We Know that You are having a Difficult time adjusting to this change in Dietary Life-Style, which is why We are providing You with Prepared [pre-selected, pre-tasted, pre-tested, pre-demographed, pre-TradeMarked, pre-packaged and pre-sented] meals for your… entire Week/entire Month/entire Year/entire… Life

It is the same thing when I go grocery shopping. The media and mainly my wife, have me so paranoid and programmed, that I find myself doing the same things that I used to think only ‘fanatics’ do: 

Freak out over the news – Go to the library and read every book about it – Throw out all the meat in the freezer – Eat corn on the cob without butter – Map out a route of at least 5 different stores and 2 of those are Farmers markets – Tell Everyone that they Did and Do. 

So My resolution to reclaim my sanity, for the remainder of this year and into the next, and for ever long this lasts, is to stop listening and start enjoying. 

I have heard enough to make up my own mind and I agree with the things I agree with. I’ll reserve judgment on other things as the information becomes clearer, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be careless and overindulgent. Give me some credit for good sense.

But if I have to eat ‘wood chips’, I’ll eat them the way I want to eat them – with roasted red peppers, garlic and goat cheese – thank you very much.

It doesn’t cost more either with all the money we save annually buying our beans, rice and cereal in bulk – I’m talking 50lb bags.

Fresh local fruits and vegetables on par with major chain prices. The only things I pay a little bit extra for are ‘accoutrements’ like:

Mango salsa and powder, eggplant and garlic spread, feta with herbs, cumin seeds, Jamaican Curry powder and apple-wood smoked, salt and pepper.

I love to eat and I need to be happy about what I’m eating; and I am happiest when I can be creative.

So if you don’t mind, I’d like shaved Pecans, sliced Strawberries and Bosc Pears with my Pan-Seared Wild Alaskan Salmon salad: 

A skinless fillet, 

Marinated in a blend of extra virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary, basil, oregano, garlic, cracked pepper and sea salt, 

The garlic and herbs chopped and mixed together, blended with the olive oil, salt and pepper,

Rub into the flesh side only,

Let sit for 20 – 30 minutes in the refrigerator,

 Then place flesh side down in a hot nonstick pan for 45 – 60 seconds, 

 Until you get a nice golden brown searing and caramelizing of the fresh garlic and herbs; 

 Turn over and cook for another 90 seconds and remove. 

Cooked to perfection, the flesh flaky and moist, it is ready to be served on a tossed bed of mixed greens and spinach, mixed with Feta, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, cucumber, sliced cherry tomatoes and baby carrots, red onion, cilantro and avocado, then garnished with shaved Pecans, sliced Strawberries and Bosc Pears.

As an alternative to either a Raspberry Vinaigrette or Light Poppy-seed dressing, try a tablespoon or two, of Mango Salsa from Trader Joes.

I think I feel a cookbook coming on.

 Copyright ©2010 Anthony Hall