October is the month of pink; pink towels, pink jerseys, pink ribbons. It’s breast cancer awareness month, and this week marks the halfway point in it. Sports teams are typically staunch supporters of breast cancer and during this month, many teams can be found sporting pink on something.
In 2009, the NFL began the “A Crucial Catch campaign.” This campaign helps to raise breast cancer awareness by promoting breast cancer screenings and having every team participate in displaying the color pink. The pink items worn by the team and staff are typically auctioned at NFL Auction and the proceeds go towards grants for the American Cancer Society. In addition to that, teams and the NFL begin to sell pink merchandise to their very large fan base; you can check out the products available here. All proceeds from the sale of pink merchandise and auction items go towards the American Cancer Society. To date, the NFL has raised around seven million dollars for the cause.
According the NFL’s website, this year marks the second annual “A Crucial Catch” day. This year it is designated October 13, so expect to see seas of pink when you tune into your favorite football games. At Sunday’s St. Louis Rams versus Green Bay Packers game, everyone heading into the stadium was handed a pink towel, the coaching staff, referees and team members wore their pink apparel, and toss coin, game ball and everything in Lambeau Field was decked out in pink right down to the field art, according to the Packers website.
The short video below was posted by the Green Bay Packers official Twitter account. In it you can see the sea of pink in the stands, as well as the 44 women in pink t-shirts welcoming the team to the field. Those 44 women are breast cancer survivors invited to the field to be honored for their courage and their fight.
The AT&T Stadium in Dallas was also able to celebrate the “Catch” campaign in their stadium today. Left on every seat is a pink towel.
The Cowboys and the Packers are, of course, not the only teams to bring awareness to breast cancer. If you do a simple NFL team search, you will most likely find a list of every team that will play this week and how they’ve changed their look to support it. However, the support and participation in breast cancer awareness month goes well beyond the NFL. There are college and high school sports that are showing their support by wearing pink, and there are advocates and celebrities that talk about it in public forums. There are even fashion shows, like “The Show Breast Cancer Care,” in London help to promote breast cancer awareness month.
Cancer can hit anyone at any time, and communities have banded together to promote and make their neighbors aware of the dangers and/or help available. KrisTV out of Corpus Christi, Texas reported on a program available at South Texas Family Planning & Health Corporation (STFPHC). The program covers women from ages 18-64 who are either low-income or have no insurance. It also allows women to come in for anything from free breast cancer screenings to breast cancer treatment, and they encourage women to come yearly. We all know how expensive medical bills are, so this service is a boon to their community. Juana Esquivel told the station that she is a breast cancer survivor only because of this program. She wouldn’t have been able to afford what was necessary on her own.
To learn more about breast cancer and programs available for you, the Susan G. Komen website can help you find an affiliate and give you detailed information about screening and breast cancer itself. The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s website also gives you the availability to create early detection plans and fundraisers as well as providing information about cancer.
There are programs and foundations available to you, so remember to get your screening in and think pink!
[Image credit to Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]