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The Need is Real

Former Pittsburgh Steeler and MVP of Super Bowl 43, Santonio Holmes is teaming up with OneBlood for Be the MVP of Your Community, a campaign designed to create a call to action for African Americans to donate blood to specifically help sickle cell patients. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that primarily affects people of African ancestry. Go behind the scenes of OneBlood with Santonio for an eye-opening look at the massive effort that takes place around-the-clock to find blood for sickle cell patients. Discover why a diverse blood supply is vital for the nation, and meet a sickle cell patient who has had 500 blood transfusions in five years!

Sickle Cell by the Numbers

Donors of all blood types and ethnicities may be a match for sickle cell patients,

1 in 2

Type O African American blood donors are a match for sickle patients

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Only 1 in 40

Type O blood donors of all other ethnicities are a match

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Yet only 1 in 100

African Americans actually give blood

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Why Do Sickle Cell Patients Need Blood Donors?

Sickle cell is the most common inherited blood disease. It causes red blood cells to form abnormal crescent shapes that often get stuck together when traveling through the body, causing painful clots.


It is impossible to help sickle cell patients effectively manage their disease without the help of local donors like you.


Because sickle cell patients often require regular transfusions throughout their lifetime, the blood they receive must be more closely matched to prevent rejection. While a donor from any racial or ethnic group can be a match for a sickle cell patient, the best match for a blood transfusion is from an African-American donor.

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"You can help patients sidelined from sickle cell when you donate blood."

-Santonio Holmes

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Host An MVP Blood Drive

If you are part of an organization that would be willing to host a blood drive, please contact us. In this fight, there can be more than one MVP!


“I want to give people battling sickle cell disease a voice. They cannot fight it alone, they need a team. Be the MVP of Your Community is about letting the African American community know that people with sickle cell disease need them on their team. They can be the star player for sickle cell patients by simply becoming a blood donor or hosting a blood drive.” - Santonio Holmes

Santonio and his son