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The Red Cross has started a program to encourage more black people to donate blood to help in the fight against sickle cell disease.


Sickle cell disease is prevalent in blacks. Up to 80,000 black people in the United States suffer from it, according to the Red Cross.


Sickle cell distorts the shape of blood cells and causes a multitude of problems. The symptoms of the disease are painful, dangerous and sometimes lead to death.


The only treatment to prevent symptoms is frequent blood transfusions

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