Golf Outing is Husband's Way of Helping Fight Thalassemia

April 12, 2010 – Robert Aiello talks about how he got involved with CAF and what it means to him as the husband of a person with thalassemia.

The Staten Island chapter of CAF holds its 2010 Cooley’s Anemia Golf Outing on April 28 at the South Shore Country Club in Staten Island, NY. Robert Aiello, whose wife Diane has thalassemia, is the chair in charge of this event, which is now in its sixth year. Below, Robert talks a little about how he and Diane met and why he works so hard on this wonderful fund raiser.

CAF: How did you and Diane meet and how did you get together?
Robert: Diane and I met at a Perkins restaurant. I ate there often and she was the night waitress. Flirting turned to a long friendship; eventually we started dating and have now been married for almost four years with a great son who is two and another one on the way.

Diane & Robert

Diane & Robert Aiello

For more information about the Staten Island Golf Outing, download a flyer by clicking here or call 718-369-3434 (Robert Aiello) or 718-761-5380 (Staten Island chapter of CAF).

How did you react when Diane told you about thalassemia?
I didn’t really understand what it was, so I actually did some research on my own. I couldn’t believe what she needed to go through on a daily basis with regard to administering her medication for chelation.

How did you get involved with the golf outing? Was it already an event when you came on board, or was it your idea to start it?
After Diane and I started dating and met a lot of other thalassemia patients, I decided to attempt running a golf outing to raise funds. This was a new event that Diane, I and my terrific committee put together. This is our sixth year.

What does the golf outing mean to you? Why do you do it?
It gives me some satisfaction that I made a contribution to raise some of the funding for research and to find a cure.

What do you want to tell people about the golf outing?
Besides the fact that the funds going to a charity that is near and dear to all the patients and family members, I want to mention that we try to make our outing very different. We have multiple holes where we have little “extras,” like complimentary beer, wine/mozzarella, liquor, sangria, hole-in-one contests and more.

CAF depends upon people like you who are willing to pitch in and do something to raise money to fund medical research, our patient programs, and our other services. What would you say to other people to encourage them to get involved?
Working with the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation has enlightened me in so many ways to the needs of the organization. Knowing that my efforts make a difference and that I can do it in a way that is fun and allows me to make new friends at the same time is really rewarding. Since I am very busy in my own business, I have also tried to interlock the two
so that I can justify the time I spend on the outing. For instance, I invite some of my salesmen and customers as guests of my company. It’s an excellent networking event and that helps justify the time I put into this.

Help CAF and Strike a Blow in the Fight Against Thalassemia!

There are lots of ways to help CAF. One of them is sure to be a good fit for you.

From garage sales to personal fundraising pages to golf outings, there’s a wide range of options for helping CAF – and every single one of them is not only appreciated but very greatly needed. Please contact Alyssa Youngerman ( or 212-279-8090) to find out how YOU can help.

What’s the best golf score you ever shot?
I thought you said you wouldn’t ask any embarrassing questions! (laughs) I have a great time on the golf course; let’s just leave it at that!

Okay, then how many holes-in-one can we count on you making at this year’s outing?
(laughs) Although I will not be getting any holes-in-one, I am happy and proud of the outing and the participants.

Is there anything else you want to add?
Everyone I speak with is getting pumped about this event, and since the weather is getting nice I’m sure a lot of people are getting golf fever. Our outing is one of the first golfing events and a great way to start off the season.

For more information about the Staten Island Golf Outing, download a flyer by clicking here or call 718-369-3434 (Robert Aiello) or 718-761-5380 (Staten Island chapter of CAF).

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