October 25, 2014

Today is the NFL's A Crucial Catch Day!

I can recall the exact moment when I first realized that even I was susceptible to breast cancer.

I was serving as Deputy Mayor of my hometown and, at the time, I was sitting amid other dignitaries at a luncheon hosted by the American Cancer Society.

I had just taken a swig of my lemon water and was about to take a huge bite of the arugula salad before me when a petite brunette cancer survivor took the stage and began to share her story.

In the minutes that followed, she relived -- and in vivid detail, I might add -- how breast cancer had threatened to rob her of a chance to mother her two young children and experience happily ever after with her husband.

She was 31.

The same as me.

Prior to her diagnosis, she was a healthy non-smoker with nary a trace of breast cancer within her family.

The same as me.

She thought developing breast cancer would be the least of her worries...

The same as me.

On my drive home from that lunch, I realized that breast cancer can happen to anyone.

That is why, as an NFL blogger, I would like to take a moment to share with you information about the NFL's A Crucial Catch Day, which is today, October 25. The campaign is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. 

This year, all NFL markets will be supported with American Cancer Society grants funded by A Crucial Catch. Over the past three years, American Cancer Society CHANGE Grants, have educated 72,000 women on the benefits and importance of breast cancer screening with more than 10,000 free or low-cost screenings performed. This lifesaving work continues in 2014 and was expanded into all 32 NFL team markets. 

The following grant-funded communities will conduct focused outreach, education and breast cancer screening TODAY: 
Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Brandywine, Maryland
Buffalo, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dearborn, Michigan
Denver, Colorado
Fort Worth, Texas
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Houston, Texas
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jacksonville, Florida
Kane County, Illinois
Kansas City, Missouri
King County, Washington
Miami, Florida; 
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Port Chester, New York
Riverside, California
Sacramento, California
Salinas, California
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Paul, Minnesota
Tampa, Florida

Here's what you can do:
  1. Sign up: Sign up for a personal screening reminder.
  2. Donate: Donate to the American Cancer Society to help more women get screened.
  3. Share: Pledge to get screened and encourage others.

Furthermore, throughout October, NFL games have featured players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, as well as additional on-field and in-stadium branding -- all to help raise awareness for this important campaign. 

Much of the apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program.

For more information on A Crucial Catch Day, please, visit www.nfl.com/pink 

P.S. If you follow The Brown Girl with Long Hair on Facebook, then you may recall that I recently participated in an insightful Skype chat (my first as an NFL Blogger) regarding an extremely important topic. Please note that I will share everything with all of you, shortly! 

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