Special Blood Drive held in memory of local hero

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— An American Red Cross blood drive will be held in Gambrills on Saturday, July 4 in memory Christopher Gipson, who passed away in 2008 due to complications brought on by Sickle Cell Disease, but is remembered as a beloved volunteer and Red Cross advocate.

At birth, Christopher was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, an inherited blood disorder that is characterized by chronic anemia and episodes of excruciating pain. Christopher lost his battle with Sickle Cell due to a massive stroke. For 13 years of his 21 years of life, Christopher received transfusions of up to 9 pints of blood every four weeks. As a way of educating people in the community about the constant, daily need for blood, Christopher and his mother, Cynthia, served as testimonial speakers for the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region. On behalf of the American Red Cross, the Gipson’s participated in a number of high profile blood drives and educational programs, spoke at press conferences and attended special events designed to raise local awareness of the need for blood donors.

Many Sickle Cell patients face a lifetime of blood transfusions to manage the symptoms of the disease and help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs and other complications that can arise as a result of sickle cell disease. In most cases, this blood must be specially matched and donated by other African Americans. In the GC&P Region, African Americans represent nearly 24% of the populations, but just 9% of the donor pool. For that reason, Christopher and his mother dedicated their lives to encouraging more African Americans to donate blood.

“Christopher lived an extremely exciting and eventful life. He was active in school, church, and community affairs in a local and statewide capacity, but he devoted much of his time to helping others, educating and bring awareness about Sickle Cell Disease,” said Cynthia. “We are continuing his legacy by sponsoring a blood drive in his memory.”

Donate Blood In Memory of Christopher Gipson

Saturday, July 4

9:30 a.m. – 2:00 pm

Macedonia United Methodist Church

1567 Sappington Station Rd., Gambrills, MD 21054

To schedule your life saving appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code christophergipson