Point Pleasant Beach Community Rallies in Face of Regional Blood Shortage, More than 100 Blood Products Collected to Support Local Youth’s Bone Marrow Transplant 

September 22, 2021

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ (OCEAN)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) hosted a community blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 2 at the Ocean Fire Company # 1 on Arnold Avenue to benefit Giovanni Taurozzi, a local youth who is undergoing a bone marrow transplant from a donor that is not related to him.  The young man’s Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia treatment requires daily blood and platelet transfusions. 

“Most people are aware of the need for blood reserves to support emergency care, such as trauma, as well as for surgeries.  However, patients receiving treatment for cancer of all types, but especially blood cancers, use more blood products than any of these other categories,” said Sally Wells, Business Development Liaison at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

“Throughout the COVID 19 pandemic maintaining an adequate supply of blood and platelets for our patients has been a tremendous challenge,” said Wells.  “Having such a successful blood drive only a few short hours after Hurricane Ida was quite an accomplishment. I have learned that when the public understands the need, they respond, and they respond in force, as was the case with this drive.   Everyone worked together to make sure there would be blood and platelets available over the long Labor Day holiday weekend.”

The blood drive was organized by a friend of the Taurozzi family, Jennifer Dearborn, and a dynamic group of dedicated volunteers.  The event collected more than 100 blood products thanks to the selfless work of these volunteer and the donors they inspired to participate. 

“My family and I extend our heartfelt thanks to all in response to the recent successful blood drive, said Giovanni Taurozzi. “Our community comes together in a big way wherever there is a need and blood product supplies for emergency and daily needs are low.”

“Special thanks to Jennifer Dearborn, for spearheading the drive, Mike Brodeur and Fire Co #1 providing the space, countless businesses – local and county wide, who provided food and treats, hung a flyer or posted about the event, our volunteers and RWJUH Blood Service team who kept it running smoothly, added Taruozzi. “Lastly and most importantly, thank you to the donors who not only came from Point Pleasant Beach, but surrounding towns, as well as some from a great distance. Without them all of this would not have been possible.”

Local business that supported the effort included Joe Leones Italian specialties, Lenny’s Colonial Market and Sweet Revenge Chocolates, who generously donated of food and treats for the donors.  Borden’s Stationery and Office Supplies and Blazing Visuals helped with marketing, and the Point Beach Fire Company and Police Department provided outstanding support.