March 12, 2015


By Amen Oyiboke 

Staff Writer




Sabriya’s Castle of Fun Foundation (SCFF) will host a blood drive Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., at the Los Angeles Sentinel offices for medical patients in need. The drive will provide an opportunity for participants to give a pint of blood for those dealing with sickle cell anemia, leukemia, dialysis and countless other patients dealing with chronic medical issues who are in need of blood.


Sabriya’s castle was created in honor of Los Angeles’ Sentinel Newspaper publisher Danny Bakewell Sr.’s daughter, Sabriya Bakewell, after she passed away at 17 from complications stemming from leukemia. This semi-annual blood drive was created to provide a sense of community involvement by bringing awareness to countless medical issues that affect the African American community. The organization uses “fun therapy,” support groups and volunteer opportunities to support medical services for in-house and out-house patients.


All blood types are encouraged to come out and donate. There are three blood types: A, B or O. People derived from African descent carry an antigen in their blood that is critical for African American patients who deal with blood disorders. The demand of African American blood donors in the medical community is specifically important due to the antigens needed by African American patients. However, a donor does not have to be African American to match an African American patient.


But, some patients with sickle cell anemia may have a rare blood type that needs special attention. Sickle cell patients require frequent blood transfusions and have different requirements with blood donors that do not have C, E, and K red cell proteins. If a donor does not have these proteins on their red blood cells, their blood is reserved for transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease. Fifty-five percent of African Americans are CEK-negative, compared to less than 1% of the general population.  SCFF makes it a priority to get people to donate blood because of the need.


Leukemia patients suffer from blood-forming tissues hindering the body’s ability to fight infection. Abnormalities in cell growth and recovery causes normal cells to multiple rapidly. Over a period of time, the cells can crowd out healthy blood cells in the bone marrow leading to fewer healthy blood cells.


Sabriya’s Castle of Fun Foundation hopes to continue to make a strong impact on medical awareness through blood drive events. Participants who are well hydrated, over the weight of 117 pounds, and are 17 and older will be able to donate with a valid photo I.D.


Come out and donate blood March 14 in front of the Los Angeles Sentinel building at 3800 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Sabriya's Castle of Fun Foundation is in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Mothers in Action, L.A., Councilmember Curren Price, L.A. Urban League Young Professionals, The Brotherhood Crusade, Bank of America, HPP Cares, Misty Melony Sickle Cell Disease Foundation, Radio Free KJLH and Kappa Alpha Psi. To volunteer or learn more about the drive please call (323)-299-3800 or visit

Category: Community