GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. On Saturday, the American Red Cross held a blood drive in hopes of saving more lives who have Sickle Cell.

According to the Red Cross, more than 100,000 people in the United States have Sickle Cell. It impacts one out of 365 Black or African-American people. Saturday’s blood drive was especially important to the Cannon family, who lost their son, Ramon, to the disease in 2021. The blood drive was held in his memory.

“We actually saw firsthand the chronic need of persons being donors and being passionate about giving blood,” said Jackie Cannon.

“Giving blood can save someone’s life with sickle cell and other diseases around the world, and especially in Pitt County,” said Samuel Cannon.

People with Sickle Cell disease may need as many as 100 units of blood each year, which is why it’s important to donate.

The drive was also sponsored by the Pitt County branch of the NAACP.