Local girl is helped by the Red Cross - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local girl is helped by the Red Cross

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Volunteers by the dozens gave a little bit of themselves Friday to help the American Red Cross. For some people this is something that they might do once a year, but not for Charlie Crapps. He gives blood frequently.

"I do. I have several gallon pins at home from other drives that I participated in," he said.

Charlie also happens to work for Dougherty County, and today he was using all of his considerable powers of persuasion to get other county employees to join him.

"I have conversations with them while they're giving blood and I bring them juice and encourage them to be positive about it," he said.

The blood that was given on Friday in Downtown Albany at the Government Center is going to help patients throughout Southwest Georgia, including one special little girl.

Ariel was born eight years ago in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Like any baby, she was given a series of tests shortly after she was born. But her tests revealed a problem.

"They ran tests and they came back positive for actual sickle cell disease," said Ariel's mother, Christina Peak.

Sickle cell disease is a condition where some of the red blood cells are shaped like sickles, instead of their normal ball shape. The sickle cells have trouble passing through the blood vessels.

"Which can cause a lot of pain when flowing through the body," said Peak.

And the sickle cells die much more quickly than regular cells do, leading to a lack of red blood cells and requiring frequent transfusions.

"It's been every month, going to Augusta, to have a blood transfusion," Peak said.

That's where the Red Cross - and you - come into the picture. Blood that's collected goes to patients like Ariel and to others who need it. For Charlie, giving blood is a special event.

"It feels great to give blood knowing that you are helping someone who is less fortunate," he said.

And Christina has a simple message to Charlie and all of the others who have given.

"I'm very appreciative," she said.

Just like the thousands of others around our area who will be helped this year by the Red Cross.

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