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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Stardá Kelly’s remarkable recovery

The importance of blood donation from people of color
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Photo by Christopher D
MATC Alumnae Stardá Kelly

Video Interview Coming Soon

Roughly 100,000 people in the U.S. live with sickle cell disease. Most cases of the disease come from Africa, where 80 million of the 120 million cases worldwide are reported. Most patients in the U.S. and U.K. are of African descent. Sickle cell disease changes the shape of red blood cells from their normal round structure to a crescent-like form. It can disrupt blood flow and deprive tissues and organs of oxygen-rich blood for daily functions. 

What does this have to do with Black History Month? With MATC’s recent blood drive, there was a push for more donors of color, specifically African American donors. The science of blood transfusions is complicated, but the Red Cross makes it a little easier to understand. “Individuals who are Black often have unique antigens on their red blood cells that must be closely matched for patients with sickle disease (SCD).” One in ten African Americans will be diagnosed with sickle cell disease in their lifetime, and blood transfusions can be life-saving. Patients with SCD need transfusions to increase the amount of oxygen-rich blood in the body and to reduce the proportion of misshapen blood cells relative to healthy blood cells to prevent and reverse complications caused by clotting. 

MATC Alumnae Stardá Kelly recently visited MATC to chat with Dr. Josie Veal, MATC public health officer, about the importance of blood donation. The whole story will be available in the next edition of the Times. 

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About the Contributor
Christopher D'Allen, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Christopher D'Allen and I am the Editor-in-Chief for the MATC Times, a student run paper dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in scholastic journalism. The MATC Times stands as the voice of our students and a bastion of free speech for the communiy we represent. I joined the staff in my first semester at MATC and obtained my current position at the start of Summer '23. Here I am a photography student and hold a BA in Political Science and Spanish & Latin American Studies with a minor in Democracy and Justice Studies. I have worked an Administrative Assistant, World Language Instructor, a Head Lifeguard and Resident Assistant, but have found that my passion lies in the arts. As a photographer, I challenge myself daily to find a new perspective, capture a fleeting scene and turn moments into memories. As we work to relaunch the MATC Times website and grow our staff, I want to make joining our team as positive a learning experience and beneficial a work experience as possible. I strongly believe in the power of collaboration and inclusivity. As an Editor, I actively encourage diverse perspectives. Each student's unique viewpoint enriches our storytelling and fosters a sense of unity within our community. I aim to bridge the gap between words and images, revealing the untold stories that shape our community.