In Memory of Ava Pellicone

Lincroft, NJ  – A special blood drive in memory of Ava Pellicone will be held on Tuesday, October 12 at Brookdale Community College. Donors will be welcomed between 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the lower level of the Warner Student Life Center, Twin Lights I & II rooms. Parking is most convenient in lot 7.

Why a blood drive? Gail Pellicone, Adjunct, Student Development shares her story that inspired the first blood drive in November 2009;

“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 three-year-old who loves to sing and climb.  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.”

For individuals who cannot donate blood but want to help in some way, Gail suggests individuals volunteer an hour of time at the drive to help donors register or serve them refreshments.

Individuals may also donate to the Ava Pellicone Memorial Nursing Scholarship that has been established at Brookdale Community College. Any amount is appreciated; little Ava weighed just one pound, 15 ounces when she was born – the weight of seven rolls of dimes. Donating $35, the equivalent her birth weight would be appreciated. For more information on donating, please e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A collection for food and household donations to Ronald McDonald House in Long Branch will assist families with children in local hospitals so they can remain close by during their stay. Among the items on their donation wish list are granola and cereal bars, juice boxes, mustard, ketchup, peanut butter, jelly, canned soup, paper plates, aluminum foil, Pledge furniture polish, dish detergent and laundry detergent.

The Central Jersey Blood Center will be at the College to coordinate donations.  Appointments are preferred and may be made in advance by calling Brookdale’s Student Health Center at 732-224-2106 or 732-224-2395.

Guidelines for donors include: be sure to eat prior to donating; donors must be 17 years of age or older, weigh at least 120 pounds and be healthy. Donors must also present a signature ID.

Not sure if you can donate? Information is available by calling 732-842-5750. At the sound of the recording, press “0” and ask to speak to a nurse. The nurse will be able to determine if the caller is eligible to donate blood.

The blood drive is co-sponsored by the College Health Center.