Devin McCourty has devoted his free time to a number of causes over the years, and perhaps none closer to his heart than Sickle Cell; his father was affected by the blood disease, and his aunt continues to battle it every day.
In 2013, Devin teamed up with his brother Jason to launch the Tackle Sickle Cell campaign, and now the two are expanding their efforts to their adopted homes of Massachusetts and Tennessee.
"As I got older I started to see the complications [of sickle cell disease] and the direct impact sickle cell was having on her life," Devin said of his Aunt Winnie. "That is what inspired us to get involved and try to make a difference and bring awareness, and raise money and help people as much as possible with the disease."
Both Devin and Jason will host a Tackle Sickle Cell Casino Night in the upcoming weeks. Devin's fundraiser on October 27 will offer fans an evening out in Boston with some of their favorite Patriots players. Guests will have a chance to play games like blackjack, roulette and poker, all while supporting Boston Children's Hospital and Next Step, an organization that helps teens facing life threatening diseases like Sickle Cell.
"I'm so excited to bring Tackle Sickle Cell to Boston," said Devin, who's met many families affected by the disease during his visits to Boston Children's Hospital. "Now we have an opportunity to have an even greater impact on their lives."
Since establishing Tackle Sickle Cell almost two years ago, the twins have staged blood drives and fundraisers in their home state of New Jersey, and used their platform as professional football players to spread the word about the disease. They've even put their sibling rivalry to good use, making a friendly wager on who could raise more money for their summer 5K. (For the record, Devin just barely topped Jason and got to see his brother dress up as Pat Patriot at Gillette Stadium.)
In addition to the upcoming Casino Nights, Devin and Jason also marked Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September with a new video to help educate people about the disease.