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Police Officer Helps In Fight Against Sickle Cell Anemia

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) - Al Adkins is a lawman that leads by example.
“You donate blood on a regular basis?” asks Patrick Clark.
“Yes I do,” says St. Louis City Police Lt. Col Al Adkins.
“How often?” asks Clark.
“Three to four times a year,” says Adkins.

Now this high ranking cop with a commanding presence is about to embark on a new adventure.
His blood will be used by a child with sickle cell anemia

“I was touched I was touched,” says Adkins.  “This is God's hands that you are a match with somebody and you can help hopefully for the rest of your life and their lives so yeah it's special.”
It’s a disease that needs donations of blood, especially from those in the African American community.

   “About 70% all of the people that have sickle cell disease that are born with a trait or the disease are people of color,” says Alicia Smith the Program Director for Diversity Iniatives with the Red Cross.

Today in downtown St. Louis, postal workers participated in a blood drive.
The hope is to find matches to help more than 2000 children in the region that bear the blood disease.
“The only thing the medical community has found that will keep them from having additional strokes is for them to go in on a regular basis for blood transfusion therapy,” says Smith.  “The blood that they use in this transfusion therapy is the match blood from our program.”

That’s Lt. Col. Adkins job, to recruit more people to donate, even if he’ll never know who he’s helping.

“And that person I may never meet at that is not really important,” says Adkins.  “But we are all put here to help each other and I think that's a means to that end.”

He’s a humble hero, with a big heart behind that badge…and a voice that makes you pay attention.

“You know you’ve got a career in radio if you want,” says Clark.
“And I've got the face for it too,” says Adkins dryly.  “You got that right?”

Patrick Clark, News 11.

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