Richmond, Va.
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

VCU, Farrior Foundation, Super Bowl Champions, to Tackle Sickle Cell Anemia

Super Bowl XL and XLIII Champions with the Pittsburgh Steelers, James Farrior and Ryan Clark, will help raise funds for sickle cell treatment and research at VCU.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Note to Editors: A room will be provided for interviews with doctors and players prior to the event from 5 to 6 p.m. No interviews will be permitted during the event, but cameras will be allowed for B-roll and stills.

The VCU Medical Center and the James Farrior Foundation are teaming up to host a fundraiser featuring James Farrior and Ryan Clark on Friday, April 27, from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Richmond Marriot, 500 E. Broad St.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the adult and pediatric sickle cell programs at VCU Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. In order to purchase tickets for the event or to make a donation, visit https://www.support.vcu.edu/event/tacklesicklecell or contact Shirley Johnson at 804-628-2627 or sjohnson42@vcu.edu.

James Farrior is a two-time Super Bowl champion, a two-time Pro Bowl linebacker, team MVP and eight-time defensive captain with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan Clark, who has sickle cell trait and nearly died as a result of the condition after playing in Denver in 2007, has been a safety on the team since 2006, recording more than 450 tackles in a Steelers uniform.

“James, Ryan and the entire Farrior Foundation are overjoyed to not only support VCU’s leading sickle cell research and treatment programs, but also to bring attention to a serious and often overlooked disease,” said Matt Farrior, vice president of the Farrior Foundation. “And to be helping in Richmond, in our community, is an honor.”

Matt and his brother, James, attended Matoaca High School in the Richmond area, where VCU cares for more than 900 children and adults from throughout central Virginia with sickle cell disease, a chronic, inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with the disease experience periodic, often unexpected episodes of intense pain.

“Our goal is to provide comprehensive care to those suffering from the disease to help them and their families deal with all of the ways that sickle cell impacts their lives,” said India Sisler, M.D. “They can greatly benefit from the care of psychologists, educational consultants, social workers and physicians. These services can only be funded through fundraisers like this one.”

In addition to food, music, dancing, a silent auction and poignant presentations, the event will offer attendees the opportunity join the bone marrow registry.

Currently, the only cure for sickle cell disease is bone marrow transplant. VCU is the only pediatric bone marrow transplant site in the state of Virginia and currently offers this life-saving cure to its patients. By collaborating with the James Farrior Foundation, VCU hopes to increase the number of donors on the bone marrow registry and make this cure more widely available to sickle cell patients around the country.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 223 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

About The Farrior Foundation

The James Farrior Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to charitable endeavors that benefit today’s underserved youth through programs such as the provision of scholarships, back-to-school supplies, vision exams, eyeglasses and supplies, coats at Christmas, holiday meals, shoes for summer, etc. as can be viewed on the foundation’s website www.jamesfarriorfoundation.org. Farrior is active in the national bone marrow registry, and has a goal of 5,100 people to sign up in the Richmond and Pittsburgh areas.