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Hood Theological Seminary to host community blood drive

SALISBURY — Hood Theological Seminary will host a blood drive on Saturday, March 25, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The community bloodmobile of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas will be located in the parking lot next to the security office on the seminary campus, 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive. To schedule a time please contact Dr. Mbuwayesango at dmbuwayesango@hoodseminary.edu or 704-636-6077. Walk-ins are welcome and all donors will receive a T-shirt.

This blood drive is in honor and celebration of Chiquanna Murray, daughter of Sharon Mitchell, a first year Hood student. Chiquanna, now 32, was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at the age of 5. This is her story in her own words:

“I have endured a long life of constant complications. I can’t begin to estimate how many times I’ve needed someone’s blood to save my life. It takes a special person to give away their blood without seeing the fruition of their kind act. I wish I could personally thank each and every person who has unknowingly saved my life through every transfusion and exchange transfusion I’ve received, but I can’t. My way of thanking them is by urging others to donate for future recipients. I am a living witness that lives are being saved through blood donation. I am so grateful to awesome, self- sacrificing, altruistic, supportive and charitable people like you because I have lived to birth and raise three beautiful children. Thank you past, present and future donors.”

Sickle cell disease affects people of many different ethnicities, but it is estimated that 60 to 80 percent affected are people of African descent. So, while donors of all ethnicities are needed, “there is a critical need for blood donations from the African-American and black communities,” said Dr. Dora Mbuwayesango, Hood Seminary professor and dean of students who organized this blood drive. “Unfortunately, African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by certain diseases which are treated through blood transfusions, such as sickle cell anemia.”

All blood types are needed.

In 1938, African American researcher Charles Drew made key discoveries regarding blood plasma that earned him the title “father of blood banking.” Dr. Mbuwayesango stresses that members of the African-American and black communities can continue to play an important role in saving lives through blood donations.

“Please come to Hood on the March 25th to give blood during this season of Lent and save a life!” He said.

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is an independent, locally-managed, non-profit community blood center. A member of America’s Blood Centers, a group of 72 independent blood centers that supplies 50 percent of the country’s blood, they are the primary blood supplier to the region’s patients and hospitals. They subscribe to a community-based blood banking philosophy. That means community donors know that the blood they give stays in our community first — helping family members, friends and neighbors at the hospitals in our region. Excess supply is shared with other communities when needed. CBCC’s mission is to be the steward of a community resource: life-saving blood. CBCC collects blood from the community to return it to the community at the lowest possible cost, consistent with the highest standards of quality.

Hood Theological Seminary is a graduate and professional school where intellectual discourse and ministerial preparation occur in tandem within the framework of a community of faith. Sponsored by the A.M.E. Zion Church and approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, its student body is composed of persons from many different denominations.

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