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Krewe of Harambee gives big to sickle cell - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Krewe of Harambee gives big to sickle cell

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

As we mentioned earlier, the Krewe of Harambee is set to roll out this Monday.
 
It's a huge celebration honoring the local African American community. 

Over the last 13 years, the krewe has raised more than $15,000 for sickle cell anemia. It's their biggest charity. 

Joshua Black, 14, is in the hospital dealing with complications from sickle cell anemia.
 
"My body starts to cramp and hurt and ache. It makes me feel really weak sometimes," said Josh.

Sickle cell is a genetic disease, where red blood cells in the body develop into a sickle shape.
 
This can block blood flow causing pain, organ damage and infection.
 
"The struggle for me is seeing him suffer as much as he does and knowing there's nothing I can do about it. So, there's a lot of praying that I have to do as a parent," said Johnson.

Over the years, Josh has needed lots of blood transfusions to help him through the hard times.

They can help clear up sickle cells from the blood flow and ultimately save the life of a sickle cell patient.
 
"That replaces the sickle cell hemoglobin, so therefore they don't have the pain, organ failure and these problems that they have when they have the sickle hemoglobin," said Dr. JoAnn Moulds with Lifeshare Blood Centers.

Sickle cell is most common among African Americans, so donations are in high demand from that section of the community. 

That's why the Krewe of Harambee has stepped in to help.

"Because the disease affects primarily African Americans, we wanted to make sure that we are a crew with a purpose," said Derrick Henderson with the krewe.

Lifeshare Blood Centers is taking blood donations during the Krewe of Harambee parade on Monday.
 
They'll have a booth set up on Texas St. right in front of the Regions Bank Tower.
 
It'll be open from 11:30 to 2:30. 

You must be 16 or older to give blood. 

 

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