Red Cross hosting blood drive to honor Fort Wayne teen with sickle cell anemia

Local News

Joshua Jank (Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive to honor a Fort Wayne teenager who was born with sickle cell anemia.

When Josh Jank was five, he had a number of small stokes. Without a routine of monthly blood transfusions, the Red Cross said additional strokes would have led to disabilities and death.

“About 100,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease. Most are of African descent. The disease causes red blood cells to harden and form a C-shape (like a sickle). When hardened, the cells can get caught in blood vessels and cause serious complications for patients. These complications can include severe pain, respiratory conditions, organ failure, and even stroke,” the Red Cross said.

From the age of five to 19, the Red Cross said Jank has received over 400 unites of blood.

“Josh has enjoyed a quality of life made possible by the dedication and generosity of others who were willing to hit pause, visit a blood drive, and give the gift of life. Nothing beats that,” said Brenda Jank, Joshua’s mother.

The blood drive will be held on July 14 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne, located at 2609 Fairfield Ave. To register, click here.

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