raising awareness for sickle cell disease
III & Long Foundation
Founded by Santonio Holmes in the fall of 2011, the mission of the III & Long Foundation is to raise awareness to help fight Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and provide financial support and treatment options for families affected by the disease.
Santonio Holmes recognized the great need to advocate for SCD when his own son, Santonio "TJ" Holmes III, began to suffer from symptoms of the disease at an early age. A blood test revealed that TJ had inherited the blood disorder, and would need to combat the disease through constant hospital visits and medical treatment. Experiencing first-hand the medical, financial and emotional difficulties that families fighting SCD face, the NFL star built the III & Long Foundation in honor of his son, to educate families and help them navigate these challenges.
advocacy & community services
The III & Long Foundation works in partnership with local SCD organizations to provide grants that enable families to receive proper treatment and education. The foundation is dedicated to building awareness about the disease through programs, merchandise, and fundraising events. These endeavors support families and raise funding for research on SCD.
III & Long Foundation produces special programs and educational services that unite and support the SCD community, including:
- Tutoring services for children during hospital treatment
- Educational seminars for parents
- Social media awareness campaign #GreaterThanSickleCell
- Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday community events
- Annual Strikes for Sickle Cell Bowling event
About Sickle Cell Disease
SCD is the most common blood disorder in the U.S., affecting nearly 100,000 Americans, commonly of African-American descent. The disease causes round red blood cells to become abnormally curved and form a crescent shape. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body. Currently, there's no cure for most people with sickle cell anemia. However, treatments can relieve pain and help prevent further problems associated with sickle cell anemia.
each donation helps lessen the burden of treatment costs for families affected by Sickle Cell Disease.
About Santonio holmes
Born on March 3, 1984, in Belle Glade, Florida, Santonio Holmes overcame an impoverished upbringing to become a professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Chicago Bears. In 2008, the gifted wide receiver was named Super Bowl XLIII MVP after making the game-winning touchdown catch. Holmes is the father of four children, Saniya, Savannah, Nicori, and Santonio Holmes III, the inspiration for the III & Long Foundation.
college football & NFL Career
Holmes attended Ohio State University where he became a key receiver and kick returner for the Buckeyes. In 2005, Holmes recorded 53 catches for 977 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning selection to the first All-Big Ten team. In the 2006 NFL Draft, Holmes was selected with the 25th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite being undersized at 5'11" and approximately 190 pounds, Holmes proved that he had the speed and skills to be a successful pro wide receiver. He averaged an NFL-best 18.7 yards per catch in 2007, then enjoyed a dream finish to the 2008 season by making the winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIII. The following year, he compiled a career-best 1,248 receiving yards.
forming the III & Long foundation
From the time his son, Santonio "TJ" Holmes III, was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, Holmes has been actively involved in supporting research and helping with financial assistance for families battling the disease. In 2009, he sold the gloves he used to make the winning touchdown catch in Super Bowl XLIII for $70,200 and donated the money to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Understanding and experiencing the financial and emotional challenges associated with SCD, Holmes' advocacy led him to form his own foundation, III & Long, dedicated to building awareness about SCD and supporting families in need.