Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and the New York Blood Center have partnered to host five blood drives across the city in support of two young brothers with a rare blood condition, beginning on March 13.
King Singh, 7, and Mesiah Singh, 6, who are from Queens Village, were both born with a rare blood disease called glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). G6PD causes red blood cells to break down in response to certain medications, infections or other stressors. There is no cure for this disease, so the only lifesaving treatment is a blood transfusion when the red cells break down from a trigger, according to New York Blood Center.
King was also diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer, when he was 2 years old. But thanks to more than three years of chemotherapy treatment and numerous blood transfusions, King is now cancer free.
King encourages fellow New Yorkers to “stay strong and never give up.”
To continue helping the brothers, New York Blood Center and the Queens borough president’s office, along with other community groups, will host blood drives throughout the month of March. The last drive will take place at Queens Borough Hall on March 31.
“With the need for blood donations as strong as ever, I am proud to partner with New York Blood Center and King and Mesiah Singh in hosting a March 31 blood drive at Queens Borough Hall,” Richards said. “King and Mesiah are two brave little boys from Queens Village who have shown great strength in battling a rare disease that requires them to receive frequent transfusions. Their courage is an inspiration for us to make sure they and all of those who rely on donated blood can always get their transfusions when they need them. For the sake of King and Mesiah and for all those who rely on the ‘gift of life,’ I urge all of us who are able to donate blood to do so as often as we can.”
Here is the timeline for when the blood drives will be hosted and where to sign up:
- Saturday, March 13: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at GFP Realty Union Square, 27 Union Square West, NYC (Sign up here)
- Sunday, March 14: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Riverdale YM-YWHA, 5625 Arlington Ave., Bronx (Sign up here)
- Wednesday, March 17: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brooklyn Army Terminal, 80 58th St. The Annex Building, Brooklyn (Sign up here)
- Monday, March 22: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church, 225 West 99th St., Enter Amsterdam Ave, NYC (Sign up here)
- Friday, March 26: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Staten Island Ferry, 1 Ferry Terminal Dr., Staten Island (Sign up here)
- Wednesday, March 31: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Kew Gardens (Sign up here)
Andrea Cefarelli, senior executive director at New York Blood Center, said they are “incredibly proud to be hosting blood drives in support and celebration of these two strong boys.”
“Blood donations save lives and King and Mesiah are proof of that,” Cefarelli said. “We thank all of our partners for their tremendous support and to our blood donors who are ensuring these boys are able to stay healthy.”