Feb 14, 2024 Tackle Sickle Cell, Embrace Kids Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Host 11th Annual Community Blood Drive to Fight Critical and Urgent Blood Supply Shortages on Saturday, February 17

K5 Group with McCourtys

(New Brunswick, NJ) – Tackle Sickle Cell, Embrace Kids Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital will host the 11th Annual Tackle Sickle Cell community blood drive on Saturday, February 17 to combat the ongoing blood shortage that reached critical levels due to several weather-related blood drive cancellations this week and to support individuals who are battling sickle cell disease.

The 11th Annual Tackle Sickle Cell Blood Drive takes place in RWJUH’s Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard from 10 a.m-4 p.m. Members of the media are invited to attend.

To register, visit www.McCourtyTwins.com/TackleSickleCell or call 732-235-8100.

All donors, 17 years and older must weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. 16-year-old donors must provide written parental consent, weigh a minimum of 120 pounds and be in good health.

To obtain a consent form or for questions about medical eligibility, please e-mail DonorSupport@RWJUH.edu. Donors are reminded to bring a photo ID, eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating.

Former NFL and Twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty invite you to support their Tackle Sickle Cell Campaign by donating blood, increasing awareness, and raising funds. The McCourtys were football standouts at Rutgers University before moving on to the NFL. Devin retired in 2023 after 13 seasons and now is an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. Jason retired in 2022 after 13 seasons and now hosts Good Morning Football on the NFL Network.

Blood DonationThe McCourty Twins have generously supported the campaign and given their time to promote and attend the blood drives, visiting with donors, fans, patients while donating blood themselves.

Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic disorder in the US. If both parents have the sickle cell trait, each of their children will have 1 in 4 (25%) chance of having sickle cell disease. About 100,000 Americans are thought to be living with sickle cell disease, and every year another 1,000 babies are born with the disease. 1 in 500 African Americans and 1 in 1,400 Hispanics are born with Sickle Cell Disease. It also affects people from the Caribbean, Middle East, India and the Mediterranean. 3 in 10 Mediterranean (Greek/Italian) Americans, 5 in 100 of Southern Asian/Middle Eastern and 3 in 100 of African/Hispanic Americans carry the gene for Thalassemia (congenital disorder of hemoglobin). Patients affected with sickle cell disease need ongoing treatment. Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell disease.

Patients who are transfused very often, such as those with sickle cell disease, thalassemia or cancer can easily form antibodies to some red cell antigens. Once antibodies form, these patients require very precisely matched transfusions to prevent transfusion reactions and production of more antibodies.

Since the Tackle Sickle Cell blood drive’s inception, over 2,000 units of blood have been collected positively impacting the lives of as many as 3,300 patients. The blood drive has traditionally been held in February to address seasonal blood shortages and is also held as part of RWJUH’s Black History Month activities to raise awareness about the need for specific and unique blood type donations that can support diverse patient populations.

“Embrace Kids is proud to partner with Tackle Sickle Cell and RWJUH to raise awareness about Sickle Cell disease and encourage individuals to donate much-needed blood and blood products to support these patients who need frequent transfusions throughout their lives,” said Armaan Saxena, Executive Director of the Embrace Kids Foundation. “The blood drive also helps collect much-needed donations during the winter months when blood supplies can fall to critically low levels. Embrace Kids is proud to support this effort which has positively impacted so many lives over the past 11 years.”

All presenting donors receive a commemorative Tackle Sickle Cell t-shirt and refreshments courtesy of Jersey Mike’s.

Everyone who registers through the website and presents to donate will receive a $10 gift card to Hansel n’ Griddle (not transferable for cash).

About Embrace Kids Foundation

Embrace Kids Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, exists to help families whose children have cancer, sickle cell disease or other blood disorders. Each year, Embrace Kids provides over $1 million in services to children and families throughout the greater New Jersey area at absolutely no cost to these families. For more info, please visit www.EmbraceKids.org.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), a 614-bed RWJBarnabas Health Facility, is New Jersey’s largest academic medical center through its deep partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. RWJUH is the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Its other Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, orthopedics, bariatric surgery and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (www.bmsch.org). A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first designated Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

For information contact:
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: Peter Haigney
Office:732-937-8568; Cell: 908-227-9317