September 12, 2022

DAYTON, Ohio - Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims offered to roll up his sleeve and donate blood to help fight sickle cell disease and encouraged others to do the same at the Monday, Sept. 12 kickoff event for the Community Blood Center Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive.

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month and CBC is helping shine the light on the critical need for a diverse blood supply with the Sept. 12-17 Sickle Cell Blood Drive at the Dayton CBC Donation Center, 349 S. Main St.

Make an appointment online at, call (937) 461-3220, or download the new Donor Time app.

Sickle cell disease impacts more than 100,000 Americans, most of African descent. They benefit most from blood transfusions from people of the same race or similar ethnicity, but only five percent of blood donors are of African ancestry.

"I want to roll up my sleeves and give blood myself and would certainly be happy to do that," said Mayor Mims.

"I've been very actively involved in teaching, coaching, and ministering to young people. I had the experience of working with some of the young people who themselves had sickle cell, and at times couldn't practice because of that and the need for treatment, young men who were laid up a little longer than they wanted to sometimes because of a bad reaction.

"I looked at what we are trying to do in this community, to try to understand how important this is for everything. They have skills and talent and are not able to generate that talent and energy for something positive because they're ill or they have a sickness and cannot produce in the way they would like to."

The mayor was joined by Dayton Children's Sickle Cell Ambassador William McCoy III and his parents William and Donna McCoy. 

"Thank you for having me and thank you to all of you have given blood in order to help people with sickle cell," said William, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at Pathway School of Discovery in Dayton. He was diagnosed with sickle cell at birth.

"We have seen the importance over the years of William having blood," said Donna, "and having that readily available for our family, we think has made all the difference."

"We're here to support everyone who wants to donate blood," said Dr. David Smith, CBC/CTS President and Chief Executive Officer. "When you look at sickle cell, it's very, very important to get those kinds of donations from the community."

"We hope to increase the numbers of minority donors in general and there is a reason for that, said Dr. Mukund Dole, Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist at Dayton Children's Hospital and Medical Director for the West Central Ohio Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.

"When I embark a chronic transfusion program, which means blood transfusions on average of every four weeks or more, I have to find the most compatible unit of blood that I can give that child.

"If I don't I run the risk over the next few years of the child developing problems. Antibodies will attack the red cells it doesn't like and destroy them. These children require more and more blood because the blood we give them is what I call not the most compatible units of blood.

"We're trying to match that patient with the best unit of blood that is available in the community. Sometimes we've had the blood brought from other parts of the state because we did not have the most compatible blood here. I'm hoping all that will change if we get more minority and African-American donors in the blood center and have them donate on a regular basis. That's my hope."

"There are many families, many children living with sickle cell disease," said Kate Barrett, Dayton Children's Director of Hematology and Oncology. "Outside, they look like they are happy and not having issues, but inside they have many things to deal with, mentally, physically, emotionally."

"September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, but our patients and their families live with sickle cell 365 days a year," said Cynthia Moon, Dayton Children's Sickle Cell Program Manager. "So please, please let's not stop this momentum. We have to keep going, we have to keep pushing for our patients and families because they are the ones affected by this disease."