Being stuck with a needle probably isn’t the way you want to start off 2014. But for some people, like UNC Charlotte senior Shamari Inuwa, being stuck with needles isn’t a choice - it’s a way of life. Shamari, like thousands of people, must receive regular blood transfusions to survive. The only way for them to get lifesaving blood is from people who voluntarily give their blood.
Shamari lives with sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the red blood cells can take on an abnormal rigid sickle or crescent shape. When sickling occurs several complications can happen, including decreased delivery of oxygen to the body's organs. This disorder has caused Shamari pain and sickness most of her life, requiring blood transfusion support as part of her treatment plan. As of nine years of age, Shamari has received more than 60 blood transfusions.
"People like me who receive blood - those who are in car accidents, have sickle cell or cancer - we are alive because of the blood," said Shamari Inuwa. "Needles aren't that bad, really. You're basically getting pinched for a few seconds compared to someone being in pain or sick all the time. Just think about that."
You can help save someone’s life, like Shamari’s, by donating blood at the 5th annual "49ers4Life" blood drive Jan. 21, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Student Activities Center. Come out to donate and you’ll get a free pint of ice cream and a special "I Bleed 49ers Green" t-shirt. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter Sponsor Code 49ers4Life to make your lifesaving appointment!