Twin brothers become face for UC blood donation drive

CINCINNATI – Two freshman brothers at the University of Cincinnati are becoming the face of a potentially life-saving push.

Kameron and Kaleb Kinebrew, 18, are working with the organizers planning a blood drive at the African American Cultural & Resource Center at UC Tuesday.

“You might just think you’re giving blood, but in reality it’s saving lives,” Kameron said.

The brothers, who graduated from Colerain High School, were born with sickle cell disease. They’re asking everyone from every background to take part in the blood drive.

Alecia Liptop, with the Hoxworth Blood Center, said there’s a donor shortage. When it comes to treating a disease like sickle cell, having the right blood match is crucial.

“People who have sickle cell disease are probably getting anywhere between 15 to 25 transfusions per year, and they respond better to blood from people of the same genetic heritage,” Liptop said.

Kaleb Kinebrew said missing a transfusion can mean serious, painful side effects.

“It was through the healthy donations and different treatments at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital really helped me become healthy, become more involved and stay on track to make sure I got to college.”

In the Tri-State, there are about 600 sickle cell patients undergoing regular treatment. About one in every 500 African American children are born with the disease.

“Sometimes people don’t realize who the blood is going to, but sometimes when they have a face of someone they know, they’re like, ‘wow, this could actually help,’” Kaleb said.

The center will host the blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 19. All donors will take home a free T-shirt, and there will be a free taco bar from Gomez Salsa starting at 11 a.m.

Interested donors can make an appointment by calling 513-451-0910 or visiting hoxworth.org.
 

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