Just like in the world, diversity is something that's needed when it comes to blood supply. In honor of Juneteenth and Sickle Cell Awareness Day, Versiti Blood Center is hosting a blood drive on Saturday.
Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, hopes the blood drives can help the organization enhance the diversity of its blood donor base and of its blood supply.
Juneteenth Day is the oldest known celebration signifying the end of slavery in the U.S. and has been identified as a day that all Americans can celebrate and embrace as a symbol of freedom.
June 19 is also World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disease that disproportionately impacts the African American and Hispanic communities. Patients with sickle cell disease often require regular blood transfusions of the Ro blood type, which is most commonly found in the African American and Hispanic communities. The Ro blood type is extremely rare, only coming from 4% of all Versiti donors.
The blood drive will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m at the Baxter Community Center, located at 935 Baxter St SE in Grand Rapids.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood on June 19, click here. All blood types are welcome to donate!