The American Red Cross launched a new international campaign to show the need for more blood donors.
Samone Meatchem, 16, tries to do as many things as her classmates do, her sickle cell makes it hard.
“I am in a lot of pain and then I end up missing school. Then when I get back to school I am trying to catch up on the work I missed,” Samone said.
Samone’s been getting blood transfusions since she was 3 years old.
“For 12 years she got transfusions every four weeks. That doesn’t even include the times when she got sick or got a virus,” Samone’s mom, Lisa Meatchem said.
Samone was rushed to the hospital in December. A Facebook video revealing the reality of her hospital journey went viral.
“The day before I went to go get it, I was feeling sick and in pain. Right after I got it I was happy. I was feeling good. I wasn’t in any pain,” Samone said.
Countless stories like Samone’s are why the Red Cross launched its new Missing Types campaign — an international effort to encourage people to donate blood
The letters a, b, and o are disappearing across the country and around the world from corporate logos, favorite brands and popular websites to help people understand how important those three letters can be until they are gone.
Without more blood donors, the Red Cross says hospitals may not have what they need to save lives.
“It is unimaginable. If they don’t have the blood for my daughter she could die,” Lisa said.
With a transfusion needed every two seconds, the Meatchems say each letter is about saving lives.
“I personally know that my daughter would not be here if it weren’t for donating blood,” Lisa said.
For more information on donating go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-redcross or download the app.
Samone and her mom are hosting The Sickle Cell Alliance Foundation’s 3rd Annual Walk for Sickle Cell 5k on Sept. 9th at Central Park in Forest Park to spread more awareness.