The Blood Bag Project: Pick up your needles

October 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm
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By Dayna Kerecman Myers

Textile blood bag by Jacque, a blood bank specialist and textile artist in St. Louis, USA

Blood bag by Jacque, a blood bank specialist and textile artist in St. Louis, USA

Leigh Bowser picked up her needles — sewing needles — to raise awareness about the rare blood disorder Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA) and the importance of donating blood. Inspired by a young relative who suffers from DBA, Bowser, a textile crafts graduate from the University of Huddersfield in the UK, decided to create a community craft project to get people thinking about DBA and donating blood.

On her project website, Boswer explains that in people who suffer from DBA, their bone marrow fails to create new red blood cells, causing severe anemia. As a result, young people with DBA often require monthly blood transfusions. Bowser’s website also notes that there are thought to be around 125 sufferers in the UK and only 700 worldwide.

Textile blood bag by Chelsea, a 25 year-old artist from Florida, USA

Blood bag by Chelsea, a 25 year-old artist from Florida, USA

The Blood Bag Project is attracting contributions from around the world, with entries from as far away as Russia, the United States, and Australia. To encourage people to donate blood if they can, and to raise money to help people suffering from DBA and other blood disorders, Bowser plans to eventually display and auction all of the blood bags.

If you’re artistically inclined (or just a very caring person), you could make a textile bag to add to Bowser’s collection. Bowser is still shy of her goal, 400 bags. (On September 30, she reached 308 bags with the addition of a bag from Australia.) You can track the project’s progress and see more beautiful samples of textile blood bags on The Blood Bag Project’s Facebook page.

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