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Charles Drew Blood Drive

Event critical for saving lives

6/13/2017, 3:40 p.m.
Eligible donors are encouraged to give at the 12th annual Dr. Charles Drew blood drive Saturday, June 17, from 7:30 ...
Dr. Charles Drew was an esteemed African American who invented the blood bank. The Portland Red Cross will hold a blood donation event on Saturday, June 17 to highlight the need for a diverse blood supply.

Eligible donors are encouraged to give at the 12th annual Dr. Charles Drew blood drive Saturday, June 17, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Red Cross Portland Blood Donation Center, 3131 N. Vancouver Ave.

All those coming to donate will receive a commemorative T-shirt, a $10 Visa gift card, courtesy of Suburban Propane, and a 50 percent off Adidas coupon, while supplies last.

Dr. Drew laid the groundwork for today’s modern blood donation program through his innovative work in blood banking during the 1940s. He then became the first medical director for the American Red Cross in 1941.

“Dr. Drew’s contributions to the blood banking industry are momentous,” said Dr. Hank Hanna, medical director of the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. “He was a surgeon, educator, scientist and the first African-American blood specialist who helped shaped the blood services industry. His legacy is far-reaching and we hope this drive helps educate the community about the need for a diverse blood supply.”

Diversity among blood donors is important because red blood cells carry markers that determine blood type, and certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. Patients are less likely to experience complications from blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity.

The Dr. Charles Drew blood drive occurs as the Red Cross urges those who have never given blood before – as well as those who haven’t given recently – to make an appointment to give blood now and help sustain a sufficient community blood supply this summer.

The Dr. Charles Drew blood drive also will feature line dance performances by the Sistahs4Life and a sickle cell disease discussion panel led by Leonard Lamberth, board member of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Oregon, and Marcia Taylor, executive director of the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Oregon.

To make a blood donation appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.