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Terrell Suggs:


"Fight Against Sickle Cell"


Interview By: Gregory Johnson

Edited: By Nikki Gardner

Terrell Suggs, also known as "T-Sizzle', is a linebacker and defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens. Suggs attended Arizona State University where he played college football. In the first round, he was drafted by the Ravens in the 2003 NFL Draft making him, at the age of 20, one of the youngest defensive players. His credits are earning defensive rookie of the year, elected in his first Pro Bowl where he had 10 sacks and recorded 60 tackles.


The Ravens played against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2008 - 2009 AFC Championship where they lost to the Steelers. But outside of football, T-Sizzle is engaged in something very important, particularly to him - his commitment to Sickle Cell Anemia. On the weekend of September 11,2008, he hosted the 1st Annual Celebrity Weekend benefiting the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund. William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund provides financial support to help research, educate and keep people aware of Sickle Cell at Mid-Atlantic area children's hospitals.


W ha t inspired Suggs to be an advocate for Sickle Cell was meeting a teenager who loves football who suffered with the ailment. Many celebrities attended the benefit, including singer/actress Christina Milian, boxer Winky Wright, actress Kellita Smith and many others. They joined together and interacted with the children who suffered with sickle cell and their families. Along with the event and other festivities of the weekend, which included attending a Raven's vs. Oakland Raiders home game and celebrating Terrell's birthday, Suggs

launched his entertainment company, Team Sizzle Worldwide. Suggs has also founded a film company where he writes and produces movies under 1080 Incorporated.


One of his statements towards Sickle Cell and the weekend events was, "It's great to provide money to worthy causes, but sometimes that's not enough. I wanted to interact with the children and let them know that my celebrity friends and I really care. Actually hugging, shaking hands and making the kids smile was a healing experiences for all of us." Sickle Cell is an inherited red blood cell disorder, which is most common in the US. The red blood cells in a Sickle Cell patient becomes hard, sticky and shaped like sickles, which clogs the flow of blood and break apart when going through the small blood tubes. An individual who has the Sickle Cell trait won't have Sickle Cell disease but their children can. Sickle Cell is not contagious but inherited. T h e three most common forms of Sickle Cell in the US is Hemoglobin SS or Sickle Cell Anemia, Hemoglobin SC disease, Hemoglobin Sickle Beta - Thalassemia (a form of "Cooley's" anemia). All three are very painful, which are called "crisis" and in worst cases lead to stroke, heart attack and death. Sickle Cell affects many nationalities and now are screened in all states.Yet, it widely affects people of African descent.


To be tested for Sickle Cell, individuals can take a painless yet simple blood test called Hemoglobin Electrophoresis, which can be done with your doctor or at a local Sickle Cell foundation. You should get tested as soon as possible - at child bearing age or when planning to start a family. If you would like to help with the disease, you can donate blood to your local Red Cross, by supporting local and national efforts to increase awareness about the disease and being supportive to a family member or friend who suffers with the disease.


For more information on Sickle Cell Anemia, you may visit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America website at: www.sicklecelldisease.org. For information on The William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, visit www.wepsicklecell.org.


For more information on Terrell Suggs and his benefits towards Sickle Cell Disease,

visit www.teamsizzleworld.com.







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