The New York Jets and the local community are rallying together to help Michael Manganiello, a contractor based out of Ocean Township, who is fighting a rare disease.
Manganiello was recently diagnosed with a disease called acute myelofibrosis. The rare disease causes progressive scarring of the bone marrow and impairs the body's ability to make blood cells.
Manganiello's only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant, and his family, friends are doing all they can to help.
A fundraiser has been set up Manganiello at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, 700 Hope Road, Eatontown, and the proceeds will be split between his family and the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was made aware of Manganiello's condition through a mutual friend, and has asked his fellow coaches and team to help.
With the help of Pettine and several of Manganiello's friends, Nicole Chambers, Danielle Taglianetti and Thomas Spadaro, tonight's fundraiser was born.
In order to find a matching donor, his friends are attempting to get as many people to register for the event by allowing a cheek swab at tonight's event.
The cheek swab and a donation will allow guests to enjoy a:
• Live and silent auction featuring New York Jets tickets and memorabilia
• Autograph session/photo op with members of the Jets: Head Coach Rex Ryan, quarterback Mark Sanchez and defensive linemen Sione Pouha and Muhammad Wilkerson
• Chance to meet other members of the Jets family including coaches, Fireman Ed and New York Jets Flight Crew, the team's cheerleading squad
• DJ and New York Jets highlight video
• Cash bar, coffee and water service, and assorted desserts donated from local shops.
There are two packages guests can enjoy, one for a $40 donation and another for $500.
For full event details including registration information, please visit the Match For Michael event web site.
Patch will be there to cover tonight's fundraiser and will have a full story later.