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Red Cross Banking on Diverse Blood Supply

Recognizing the efforts of the past continue to give the gift of life to millions of diverse groups today. The legacy and contributions of Dr. Charles Drew, an African-American blood specialist and surgeon in the 1940’s, paved the way to save millions of lives.

Drew became the first medical director of the first American Red Cross blood bank and his pioneering work continues. Susan Mahon, Collections Manager, District 2 said, “I think it’s important people know there’s a lot of history about blood banking. Looking back at the history is really very interesting to see how it started, how he struggled to get it going and trying to get people to believe in him he created a wonderful foundation.”

With 70-percent of African-Americans having type ‘O’ blood there is a constant shortage. The Red Cross is highlighting Black History Month to campaign for a more diverse blood supply. One unit can save up to three lives. It’s why IU sophomore Nicole Orlich said she wants more of her peers to give blood.

There are several other blood drives for the remaining portion of the month.

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