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How NFL Stars Jason and Devin McCourty “Tackle Sickle Cell”

February 29, 2016 by Andrea


In celebration of World Rare Disease Day, we're highlighting the contributions of the McCourty Twins: NFL stars who have dedicated themselves to the sickle cell cause.

For the fourth straight year, Jason and Devin McCourty partnered with Embrace Kids Foundation to host the annual Tackle Sickle Cell event on Saturday, February 20. Inspired by an aunt and uncle who live with SCD and their late father who carried the trait, Jason and Devin have committed themselves to helping raise awareness and funds for sickle cell warriors. 

A two-fold event, the twins hosted a blood drive that Saturday morning and a casino-themed fundraiser that night. Their goal for the blood drive, which has seen an increase in donations every year, is to make people aware of the importance of having a diversified blood supply. As Jason McCourty told New Brunswick Today, “The biggest thing with us getting behind this blood drive, is trying to get a more diverse attendance... getting more minorities out giving blood. I think it’s huge and it helps a lot." Why is a diversified blood supply important? According to the American Red Cross, sickle cell affects close to 80,000 African Americans in the United States, all of which will need blood transfusions at some point. And while O negative is a type that can be matched with anyone, it is rare and therefore, not in huge supply. Having donors, especially those of African descent, will allow for a larger stockpile of blood types that specifically match African Americans.

During the evening casino-themed fundraiser, the twins were able to help raise $35,000! This money will go toward scholarships, medical financial assistance, and other social services for people living with SCD. To read more on this year's fundraiser, check out the original article from The Daily Targum here.

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