By Kristen Parker @nepatsgirl87
Twin brothers, Devin and Jason McCourty began a campaign to tackle sickle cell in 2013. They started this foundation to aspire to teach the public about this disease, increase blood donations and raise money and awareness to fight the disease.
Sickle cell disease is a group of red blood cell disorders passed down from parent to child. This group of diseases affects nearly 100,000 people in the United States. Red blood cells contain a protein that carries oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body. Normal red blood cells are round and flexible, which allow them to travel around and get oxygen to your body. Sickle cell disease causes the red blood cells to form a sickle shape, which break apart simply, clump together more easily and only live 10 to 20 days instead of the normal 120 days.
According to Devin, “sickle cell disease affected us at a young age because my father carried the trait. I remember we took blood tests at 5 years old to see if we carried the trait as well and it was a relief when we learned we didn’t. That didn’t end the journey with Sickle Cell because both our aunt and uncle had the disease.”
The McCourty brothers are dedicated to spreading the word about this dangerous disease, raising money to help those who need it and getting people involved who can help.
Just last month, the brothers held a blood drive at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey, where people showed up in record numbers to donate. Devin McCourty said, “To be a part of this is just incredible. A lot of people believe in it, and I think that’s why the numbers continue to improve.”
On March 24, the McCourtys are teaming up with their Rutgers teammates, including, Brian Leonard, Mohamed Sanu and Mike Burton, to participate in Super Rally at the Alley in New York City. This fundraiser is meant to raise money for children with cancer, sickle cell and other blood disorders. To purchase tickets, check out give.embracekids.org.
For other events or to see how else you can help, visit www.tacklesicklecell.org
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