Jessundressed. Reporting live. HIKE!

Reporting back! 

Friday, Sept. 21, I had the honor of being Guest Blogger Reporter for The Printed Blog-sponsored event, Robert Mackey’s VIPs for Sickle Cell Awareness. This was one seriously rewarding rendezvous. The experience served up king-size deliciousness with divine company.

The schpiel: 
Robert L. Mackey, former NFL linebacker is all about gaining awareness for Sickle-Cell Anemia and benefiting SCDAI-Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois.

Sweet guy, right? You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.
This South Carolina-born talent is also the heartfelt founder of the Lydia W. Smith Foundation. Named in honor of his beloved mother who has been living with the disease for 18 years, the foundation’s purpose is to provide financial relief to carriers and provide awareness.

Altogether, the cause is great and the party was too.

I crept up the stairs of The Conrad Hotel and caught glimpse of what looked like an open call for Big & Tall male models. After recalling this celebration was
supported by the Retired Professional Football Players of Chicago Chapter & National Basketball Retired Players Association Chicago Chapter—I knew I was in the right place.
Big as they may have been, their hearts were equal in size. 

Here are former NFL’ers and I making a 
Marc May – Jess – Ron Cheatham sandwich. 


As DJ Love Jones bumped beats and Avion Tequila cocktails frequently flowed, new friends were made, but not without celebrating the old. (Poet much?)

Robert took a sentimental moment to explain how 18 years ago, his mom was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease & given 7 years to live. Her doctor advised that if she made it past those 7, she wouldn’t live to see 50. 

She’s 56 years old now. 

In the name of Robert’s family, the gold-hearted big guys of the NFL & NBA and to heightening awareness of the often unfamiliar Sickle Cell Disease: Cheers. 

For more information on the Lydia W. Smith Foundation & upcoming opportunities where you can make a difference, visit


Extra love to:
and Joseph Schiappa of 
Creative Entertainment Media Group/
Christopher Foltz & Company

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Jess Piet

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