Lincroft, NJ, October 11, 2011- Brookdale Community College will host a special blood drive in memory of Ava Pellicane who passed away at the age of three months. Donations can be made on Tuesday, November 1 from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Collins Arena at the Lincroft main campus, 765 Newman Springs Road. The drive is co-sponsored by the college women’s basketball and spearheaded by their student-athlete advisory committee representatives Jetsenia Maldonado and Nicole Collins. Also co-sponsoring is the Central Jersey Blood Bank.

This is the third year the Ava Pellicone Memorial Blood Drive will be held at Brookdale. In the words of Gail Pellicone, the impetus for the effort comes from the heart;

“During my 24th week of pregnancy with twins, I was hospitalized and placed on bed rest due to recurrent bleeding.  At 26 weeks, I began hemorrhaging and was rushed into surgery where an emergency C-section was performed to save my life and the twins.  Our daughters, Ava and Mia, were born weighing one pound, 15 ounces each and were in critical condition.  My bleeding was so severe after the C-section that a second surgery was needed to stop it.  I lost a total of one liter of blood—the equivalent of two average-sized water bottles.  Many family members and friends were willing to donate blood, but because this was an emergency situation, there was not enough time to donate to help me.

“During the three months that Ava and Mia were in the hospital, they required numerous blood transfusions.  We are thrilled to tell you that Mia is a happy and energetic six-year-old who loves to dance and play dress-up.  Despite everyone’s best efforts, Ava passed away at three months old due to intestinal failure.

“Someone, somewhere took time out of their day to donate blood and, in doing so, they saved my life, Mia’s life and gave us the precious gift of time with Ava.  We can never personally thank the donors that saved us, but we can give back in our own way by hosting a blood drive.

“If you cannot donate blood, but want to help in some way, here are some suggestions:

“Donate time.  Donate one hour at the blood drive to help donors register or to offer refreshments to donors.

“Donate money.  The Ava Pellicone Memorial Nursing Scholarship has been established at Brookdale Community College.  Ava weighed just 1 pound, 15 ounces when she was born, which is about the weight of 7 rolls of dimes.  Donating $35 – the equivalent of 7 rolls of dimes – is a meaningful gift.  However, any amount is greatly appreciated.  All checks can be made out to ‘Brookdale Foundation’ with ‘Ava Pellicone Scholarship’ noted in the memo line.  Checks can be mailed to Brookdale Foundation, Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738.

“Donate food and household goods.  All items will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Long Branch.  Ronald McDonald House provides a ‘home away from home’ for families with hospitalized children.  Each family is provided with home-cooked meals, private bedrooms and playrooms for children.  Some items from their pantry wish list include: granola & cereal bars, juice boxes, mustard, ketchup, peanut butter, jelly, canned soup, paper plates, aluminum foil, Pledge furniture polish, dish detergent and laundry detergent.”

To schedule an appointment to donate, please call Shannon Holt at 732-224-2379 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with subject line ‘Blood Donor Appointment.’