March 15, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The New York Blood Center is hosting a series of blood drives across the five boroughs this month in honor of two young brothers from Queens Village — who were both born with a rare blood disease.
The drives, which run from March 13 through March 31, will be co-hosted by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and a number of community groups.
There will be at least one blood drive in each borough, with the last drive concluding in the boys’ home borough.
The Queens-based drive will be held at the Queens Borough President’s Office, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens, on Wednesday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those interested in donating blood can sign up here.
Richards said he was proud to host a blood drive in honor of the two boys — King and Mesiah Singh.
“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,” Richards said. “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.”
Richards urged the public to donate. The city’s blood supply is low– stemming from the lack of blood drives due to the pandemic.
“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,” Richards said.
The brothers require regular blood transfusions to survive since they were born with the blood disease glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). G6PD causes red blood cells to break down when triggered by certain infections, medications or other stressors.
There is no cure for the disease and the only treatment is a blood transfusion when the red cells break down from a trigger.
On top of G6PD, King, 7, was also diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer when he was just two-years-old. After three years of chemotherapy and numerous blood transfusions, King is now cancer free.
Senior Executive Director at New York Blood Center Andrea Cefarelli said the young brothers are a reminder that blood donations save lives.
“We are incredibly proud to be hosting blood drives in support and celebration of these two strong boys,” Cefarelli said. “Blood donations save lives and King and Mesiah, 6, are proof of that. 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.”
King and Mesiah’s parents said they were proud that the blood drives are being held in honor of their sons.
“It means we’re able to share our sons’ journeys to encourage others to donate blood and platelets,” Michael and Shameeza Singh said. “Those donors help save the lives of loved ones in need, the way someone was able to help us in our time of need.”
Schedule of blood drives
Wednesday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Annex Building, located at 80 58th St. in Brooklyn. Sign up here.
Monday, March 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at St. Michael’s Church, located at 225 W. 99th St (entrance on Amsterdam Avenue) in Manhattan. Sign up here.
Friday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Staten Island Ferry, located at 1 Ferry Terminal Dr. in Staten Island. Sign up here.
Wednesday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Queens Borough President’s Office, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens. Sign up here