NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP - The parents of Charlotte Scalese, a 2-year-old cancer patient who lives in Neptune Township, are asking their Monmouth County neighbors to give blood to support Charlotte’s recovery at a blood drive on Friday, January 31.

Since her diagnosis with neuroblastoma - a cancerous stomach tumor found in young children - last year, Charlotte has undergone more than a dozen blood transfusions, several rounds of platelet transfusions, and several rounds of high-intensity chemotherapy.

Her parents are optimistic that Charlotte’s bright and resilient disposition will help her as she continues to recover, but are hosting the blood drive to ensure that she and other children with similar diseases have enough resources to ensure a successful recovery.

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The drive, which will be open between 1 and 7 PM, will take place at the Neptune Senior Center at 1607 Route 33 in Neptune. It is co-hosted by Senator Vin Gopal, Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, and the Township of Neptune, as well as Charlotte’s parents Laura and David. Walk-ins are welcome, though appointments can also be made at, or by calling 800-933-2566.

“As a community we need to come together and do everything we can to support this incredible family,” said Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch). “I encourage anyone who is able to come out to the blood drive and help make  Baby Charlotte and other children complete a successful recovery.”

“Despite all she’s gone through - despite rounds of chemotherapy, stem-cell transplants, and even surgery - Charlotte has kept her strong and cheerful spirit,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “We’re beyond grateful to anyone who’s able to come out to give blood to support her and other toddlers fighting this terrible disease.”

“A huge thank-you to our partners in Neptune Township for helping to host and coordinate this event, especially to Mayor Rob Lane, and to everyone who has supported the Scalese family so far,” said Assemblywoman Downey (D-Freehold). “With your help, we can make this event a real success and give Baby Charlotte a big boost on her road to recovery.”