Community members are begging for help to fix Northeast Ohio’s severe blood shortage

The shortage is alarming to many, particularly African-Americans who need blood
19 Health Alert
19 Health Alert
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 1:33 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hospitals are running dangerously low on blood.

This news is alarming to many African-American members of our community as they plead for donations.

If you’re on the fence about donating blood, think about people like Glinda Dames-Fincher, a community icon.

“I have sickle cell disease. I was born in 1959, and back then, it wasn’t even tested for in labs, ”explained Dames-Fincher. “I was 5 years old when my pediatrician noticed I had a slight heart murmur and a little jaundice, and he had me tested.”

At 62, Dames-Fincher is the second oldest in her support group, considering herself one of the lucky ones.

“I’m constantly losing young people I know,” said Dames- Fincher. “They were like my sisters and brothers and children, passing before me. This is extremely important.“

Dames-Fincher explains sickle cell is mainly diagnosed in African-Americans and Latinos, and that blood donations help to replenish the red blood cells that their bodies eliminate.

“Most of the blood that we get needs to come from our same ethnicity so that we don’t get immunized and not be able to get any more blood,” said Dames-Fincher.

To combat the severe blood shortage, the Red Cross is holding several diversity blood drives.

The Browns annual blood drive is Saturday, July 31 and more than 10 sites are participating.

Find a site near you here.

“This is not only for people with sickle cell disease, although that’s very important. It’s also for the general health of the community,” explained Jim Mcintyre, with the American Red Cross.

You can also donate any day of the week at the Red Cross location on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. They accept donations beginning at noon.

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