BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, and Green Bay running back Ty Montgomery are teaming up this September to educate the public about a life-threatening disease during National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
Ty is working with BloodCenter to help improve the lives of patients suffering from sickle cell disease by building awareness for blood donation. Regular blood transfusions may relieve debilitating pain crises and other complications for patients suffering from sickle cell disease.
Ty was born with sickle cell trait. People with sickle cell trait sometimes feel the symptoms of sickle cell disease, but could possibly pass on the disease to their children. “With the right care, my life is normal on and off the football field. But many patients facing challenges rely on blood donors to receive transfusions to live a happy, healthy life,” says Ty.
Sickle cell disease is inherited from both parents and is caused by a blood protein that creates abnormal red blood cells. While normal cells are disc-shaped, abnormal cells are sickle-shaped and carry less oxygen, interrupt healthy blood flow, and lead to tissue and organ damage and potentially premature death.
Blood donations help sickle cell patients like Porscha
Porscha Burks was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was 4 years old. As her disease progressed, her painful episodes became more frequent. "By my 20s, the disease had taken over. I had little hope of living a normal life," says Porscha. At that point, she began receiving blood transfusions every four weeks. “Receiving blood has allowed me to do all of the things most people take for granted,” says Porscha.
Read more about Porscha's story
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.versiti.org.