Two days before World Sickle Cell Day, ping-pong was the sport of choice at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center in Wilmington to celebrate a developing partnership between a local doctor and a worldwide foundation.
Their goal is to spread awareness about the painful blood disorder that disproportionately affects people of African and Caribbean descent.
Dr. Nina Anderson, founder of Tova Community Health in Wilmington, was recently invited to speak at the Save the World Global Forum in South Korea on Sickle Cell and the importance of blood donations.
"A lot of people in the global community didn't really know the importance of having blood donor drives for Sickle Cell specifically," Anderson said. "Less than one percent of the African-American community donates blood, but for people with Sickle Cell Anemia it's best to have blood from African-Americans or people who self-identify to prevent complications of blood transfusions."
The International We Love U Foundation Eastern Region President Daniel Lee took part in a friendly ping-pong competition and accepted a plaque of appreciation for inviting Anderson to the gathering. The blood shortage is among the Foundation's concerns.
"We work together, to help society," Lee said.
"There is so much need and demand for blood across the world," Anderson added. "It's very important that we try to keep Sickle Cell in the forefront."