NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On the court, Joe Johnson, star shooting guard for the Brooklyn Nets, is admired for the way he battles his opponents. Off the court, he looks to his mother for inspiration; she is afflicted with leukemia and fighting one of the toughest opponents to beat.
To support her and others battling blood cancers around the globe, the Brooklyn Nets and Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donor center, are teaming up in a season-long partnership featuring Johnson as a spokesperson.
This unique partnership includes bone marrow donor drives during five Brooklyn Nets home games, advertisements for Delete Blood Cancer throughout the arena and a community drive outside of Barclays Center, which Johnson will attend. The goal of the partnership is to register thousands of fans as potential life-saving bone marrow donors at one of the in-arena drives or online at deletebloodcancer.org/brooklyn.
The regular season partnership officially kicks off as the Nets face the Atlanta Hawks this Friday, January 18th. Also premiering Friday evening, on the Jumbotron, is a special public service announcement featuring Johnson, who discusses his personal advocacy for the cause and Delete Blood Cancer. He explains in the video the importance of joining the bone marrow donor registry, how simple it is to get swabbed, and how easy it is to save a life. The PSA, of which there are two versions, will be aired during halftime at each of the five games.
"You see it all the time. People diagnosed with blood cancer. I just never imagined that would happen to my mother," says Johnson in the PSA. "I was devastated. Because when I think about cancer, I know it's deadly. I had no idea how easy it was to save a life. All you have to do is get swabbed, be a donor. It's that simple."
The remaining games that will feature Delete Blood Cancer donor drives are:
- February 5th against the L.A. Lakers
- March 1st against the Dallas Mavericks
- April 4th against the Chicago Bulls
- April 15th against the Washington Wizards
Fans are invited to register as potential bone marrow donors on-site at Barclays Center at those five games. The Delete Blood Cancer team will be there to educate and register any fan that wants to join the fight. Anyone not attending a game can simply register online at deletebloodcancer.org/brooklyn.
"I was so moved when Joe shared his personal story with blood cancer," commented Katharina Harf, co-founder of Delete Blood Cancer. "I hope that all Brooklyn Nets fans and their friends open their hearts and follow Joe's plea to register as bone marrow donors. Like he said, all it takes is a cheek swab to register."
Harf sat down with Johnson for a candid conversation during the PSA shoot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbR5hvBMezw They discussed their intense love for their respective mothers and, in one of the most touching and heartwarming moments addressed how each felt when they learned that their mothers had been diagnosed with blood cancer. Harf's mother Mechtild was diagnosed with acute form of blood cancer in 1990. Sadly, she died a year later – when Katharina was only 14 – before a bone marrow match could be found. At the time, there were only 3000 registered donors in their native Germany.
Delete Blood Cancer DKMS was founded by her father Peter, Katharina, and other family members to greatly expand the donor rolls across the world. Today, there are 3.4 million registered donors in the Delete Blood Cancer DKMS system. More than 34,000 of them have saved lives by donating bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells.
Still, blood cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths in the U.S., with lung cancer being the first. Each year, more than 10,000 patients nationwide need life-saving bone marrow transplants from unrelated donors. Many of them can be saved if they can find a matching donor.
"I am excited that we are partnering with the Brooklyn Nets in our mission to delete blood cancer," said Chris Kuthan, CEO of Delete Blood Cancer. "Partnerships with outstanding sports franchises such as the Nets give us the opportunity to reach a new audience and are integral to our ability to spread the word on the importance of becoming a potential bone marrow donor. I welcome the Nets in our fight against blood cancer and I look forward to being a part of a strong team that will save lives."
About the Brooklyn Nets:
The Brooklyn Nets were officially launched in April 2012 and play their home games at Barclays Center located at the crossroads of Brooklyn, Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. The team's brand identity, including its logos and black and white color scheme, was created by JAY Z. The colors speak to Brooklyn's strong traditions, reflecting the color palette of the old New York subway signage system, and convey an uncompromising confidence.
The Brooklyn Nets are part of the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division. Prior to its relocation to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Starting in 1977, the Nets played their first four seasons in New Jersey at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, before moving in 1981 to Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford (later renamed Continental Airlines Arena and IZOD Center). They remained in East Rutherford for 29 seasons until relocating to the Prudential Center in Newark in 2010. The New Jersey Nets reached the postseason 16 times, won four Atlantic Division titles and two Eastern Conference Championships, reaching the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.
Located atop one of the largest transportation hubs in New York City, Barclays Center will be accessible by 11 subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road, and 11 bus lines.
About Delete Blood Cancer:
Delete Blood Cancer DKMS leads the fight to defeat blood cancer by empowering people to take action, give bone marrow and save lives. With over 3.4 million registered bone marrow donors, Delete Blood Caner is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world. More than 34,000 of the donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. More information about Delete Blood Cancer and how to register online: www.deletebloodcancer.org.
SOURCE Delete Blood Cancer DKMS