In nearly a decade of Tackle Sickle Cell, Devin and Jason McCourty have raised more than $2 million to support families dealing with sickle cell disease and grass roots organizations working to raise awareness. Their work has spanned their native New Jersey and their NFL regions -- New England, Nashville, Cleveland and now Miami.
Soon, the McCourty's will take their mission international.
On Tuesday, they announced a new initiative, Project Nigeria, which will consist of a trip to Nigeria in May of 2022 for 10 ambassadors. The partnership with the McCourtys, Tackle Sickle Cell and Embrace Kids will bring support and supplies to thousands of children with sickle cell disease.
This trip will allow them to realize a dream they've had since they launched Tackle Sickle Cell.
"It's always been a dream of ours to organize a mission trip in Africa," McCourty said. "Project Nigeria has finally given us an opportunity to do so with one of the largest concentrations of kids with sickle cell disease. This gives us a great opportunity to create real change."
More than 200,000 children in Nigeria are diagnosed with sickle cell disease, and though it is a widespread problem, the resources are limited. Rates of child mortality due to sickle cell disease in Nigeria are high and preventable if the proper resources were available, according to a September 2021 study published in The Lancet. Together with Dr. David Ajibade, they will provide vitamins and other supplies to help those dealing with sickle cell, as well as other necessities for children, like diapers, formula and more. The ambassadors on the trip will also spend time at a pediatric sickle cell clinic in Abuja.
"This project in Nigeria will be huge to get people some of the simple things we have right here in America that people with sickle cell have," Devin said in a video announcing the project.
Those going on the trip have launched fundraising pages, and the McCourtys will match the first $25,000 donated to the cause. You can learn more about Project Nigeria here.