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Date:2/6/2009

More Minority Blood Donors Needed

NEW YORK, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Blood Center (NYBC) urges healthy people ages sixteen and older to please donate blood in support of your community, in recognition of National Black History Month, and to help save lives. A single blood donation can help save up to three lives.

NYBC urges people of diverse cultures to please donate blood. Since about 8-10% of African-Americans are carriers of the sickle cell gene, they are more likely than any other race to get this disease. One in 500 African-Americans and one in 1,400 Latinos are born in the U.S. with sickle cell disease each year.

While African-Americans comprise nearly 30% of the NY/NJ population, less than 10% of blood donors in this area are African American, making it more difficult to find compatible blood for patients in need.

Red cell antigens are similar within ethnic groups and are therefore more likely to be found among specific ethnic populations. Blood donations from more multicultural donors are needed to maintain a diverse inventory of compatible blood.

Davina Daniels of Springfield Gardens, NY is one of many who rely on blood transfusions in order to live.

"I thank you very dearly... for giving me the precious 'gift of life,' your blood. Thank you for giving me another day to live my life, to be able to dream, have a chance to reach my goals while living those dreams, and most of all - another day to be a loving mother to my son, a daughter to my parents, a sister and a friend. With each hug and kiss, all the love I get from them reminds me that my life would be over and I would not have them if it was not for you and your loving gift," said Davina Daniels, who requires precisely matched blood from African-American donors.

To donate blood, please call

Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566
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SOURCE New York Blood Center
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