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Team ChemoSwish with their winning medals from the basketball competition.

The UNC Division of Hematology hosted its first annual “Full Court Press for Sickle Cell” at the Ernie Williamson Athletic Center on September 23rd. Not only did the event raise awareness for the disease it brought in an impressive $10,000 to support the UNC Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program.

Throughout the day, 250 individuals participated in a wide variety of activities, including the following highlights: Ten teams competed on the basketball courts and 31 blood donations were collected in partnership with the Blood Connection. Team ChemoSwish won the overall basketball competition, and the Benign Heme Team were crowned fundraising champions. This event also engaged several UNC community groups including undergraduate teams representing United Black Men, Student Government Association, and Alpha Tau Omega.

“Despite the heavy rain, we had an awesome time experiencing Carolina basketball at its finest while also having the opportunity to raise awareness and fundraise for our sickle cell mission.  Although the Benign Heme Team did not win their debut game, we’ll be back next year in better form,” Dr. Samuel Wilson, an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, said.

Organizers Cassi Frank and Caroline Hale hinted at hosting a bigger and more impactful event next year.

“We will need a bigger venue next year since so many people came out!  We raised $10,000 and brought together providers, patients, advocates, and UNC students! Intense competition but nothing but good sportsmanship. An incredible success!”

Stay tuned for more information about next year’s event.

The Benign Heme Team was the number one fundraising team.