2019 Red Cross Blood Service Heroes

Congratulations Ashley and Marqus Valentine for being honored as the Red Cross' 2019 Blood Service Heroes. They were honored for their work in advocacy and storytelling in the sickle cell community on May 1, 2019. 
Marqus and Ashley Valentine on May 1, 2019 at the Red Cross Heroes Breakfast in Chicago, IL. 
Each year, the American Red Cross honors extraordinary actions of ordinary people. The Blood Services Award is presented to an individual(s) or organization that is involved in activity that creates awareness of the importance of blood donation, helps to ensure a sufficient and safe blood supply is available to patients, and/or serves as an advocate for the blood community. 
Marqus and Ashley Valentine honored alongside 10 other heroes. Their actions ranged from raising money for childhood cancer to giving their own life to save a friend. Learn about all the heroes here
The Red Cross released stories to share the accomplishments of the heroes and the community they serve. Marqus recounts how he was told at a young age that he would not live past thirty. Now he is 35 years old and is watching drug development create treatments for the sickle cell community.

Ashley discusses how stigma and perception of the sickle cell community leads to barriers in care. She recounts how inspiring it was when sickle cell advocates across the nation worked together to pass the sickle cell legislation.  
The 2019 Red Cross Blood Services Heroes story. Watch the video here. 

Sick Cells relies on donations to continue our work in the sickle cell community. Please contribute below. 

Thank you

Ashley and Marqus Valentine work as civil servants for the sickle cell community. Thank you for allowing Sick Cells to work within it and share stories of resilience. We are grateful for the continued support of the sickle cell community, family, friends and the countless volunteers that make this all possible. 

The Blood Service Heroes Award was sponsored and presented by Fresenius Kabi. Their medical team joins Ashley, Marqus and selection committee member, Officer Merchant. 
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