DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) —LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is asking the local community to urgently donate blood at the Dothan donation center for a patient with a critical, rare blood disease.

This specific patient, suffering from sickle cell disease with acute sickle cell crisis, will need ongoing blood transfusions from a specifically matched donor, which is very rare, and African American blood donors are more likely to be a match for the patient.

We have a sickle cell patient in crisis with a very rare red blood cell profile. A national search for blood has been so far unsuccessful. Our best chance of finding compatible products is from African American donors. We are testing 100% of African American donors for compatibility for help fill this critical patient need

Dr. Chris Lough, LifeSouth’s Vice President of Medical Service

LifeSouth describes sickle cell disease as a genetic disorder that affects the body’s red blood cells, causing blood cells to be sickle-shaped. The blood cells have difficulty passing through blood vessels which can lead to fatigue, breathlessness, unbearable pain, swelling of joints, hands, and feet, and severe complications including stroke

You can donate in the Dothan, Montgomery, Opelika, Prattville, or Columbus, GA, donation centers.

To find out more, go here!