MADISON, NJ - The Red Cross is urging donors to give blood or platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply, the organization stated.

Eight-year-old AJ Torres requires blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease, the most common genetic disease in the U.S, said the organization. The disease is most common among people of African descent or Latino descent, like AJ, and can sometimes cause small blood vessels to become blocked. Diverse donors are important to ensuring AJ has the blood products he needs to regain his health.

Madison residents and residents throughout New Jersey are encouraged to donate. In Madison, a blood drive will be held at the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Squad on October 15 from 1pm - 6pm

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Those who donate, will be entered for a chance to win one of five, $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see

Please note that a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


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