OKLAHOMA CITY – The Legislative Diabetes Caucus is partnering with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) and Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma to host a statewide blood drive to raise awareness for diabetes. Caucus co-chairs Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Eddy Dempsey, R-Valliant, said the “Mission Express: Turn Blue for Diabetes” statewide blood drive is taking place through Friday, Sept. 16 and will provide an opportunity to address two of the state’s critical health needs.
“We wanted to partner with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to help raise awareness of this common blood disease that affects nearly one in eight Oklahomans while also helping increase our state’s blood supply,” Hicks said. “Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations and blindness but in most cases it’s preventable or at least treatable, so it’s important that we help educate Oklahomans every way possible. We’re grateful to the OBI for partnering with us to help spread the word.”
The Mission Express blood drive is the first of several special events leading up to World Diabetes Day on Monday, Nov. 14.
Dempsey, a Type 2 diabetic, was appointed as the caucus’ new co-chair last month.
“I’m pleased to be serving as caucus co-chair with Senator Hicks. Having dealt with diabetes most of my life, I know how important a healthy lifestyle and having access to proper health care are to managing the condition,” Dempsey said. “Unfortunately, many Oklahomans don’t understand the disease or how to improve their quality of life and prevent unnecessary health complications and even death. Events like this blood drive are crucial to getting the word out and helping reach more citizens. We hope all Oklahomans will join us as we turn blue for diabetes.”
Participants can go to any OBI location and let staff know they want to donate for Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma. To find the nearest OBI facility to you, visit www.obi.org.