More than just a few ribbons. More than sporting pink on Gameday. More than just football.
As we get ready for another great weekend of NFL action, you may have noticed teams around the league are wearing the traditional pink items in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. But, one player is striving to make an impact beyond just Sundays.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams has lost his mother (last year) and four aunts to breast cancer, which is truly unimaginable for many but that is also what adds to the incredible character which lies underneath the #34 jersey he wears on Gameday. The league allows players to sport pink cleats, socks, wristbands, etc. as the field is also covered in the popular pink ribbon but what happens in November and the months that follow? Williams wanted to do something more than just adding an accessory to his uniform for 31 days. So he called the league office in hopes of being allowed to continue efforts throughout the season. The response? No.
Adversity as you can tell has not stopped Williams from achieving success, why should that change now? So, he took matters into his own hands and built even further on “53 Strong for Sandra” – an initiative named in honor of his mother who passed at the age of 53. The star running back paid for 53 women to receive free mammograms in Charlotte, Pittsburgh and Memphis with the help of radiology and cancer institutes. As he has grown the program into 3 cities over the last 2 seasons, there really is no limit as to how far it can grow – purpose has a strange way of producing extraordinary results. For DeAngelo Williams it could be football or maybe that was just an avenue for him to save someone’s mother, aunt, sister or friend’s life by providing them with a free mammogram. Who Knows.
What we do know is that some things are bigger than sports, bigger than entertainment and should be more than a publicity stunt. Salute DeAngelo Williams for creating something so powerful and genuine despite the unfortunate circumstances that led to its creation. We wish you much continued success on and off the field.
I just want to elaborate on the “53 mammograms I’m paying for” because there’s much more to it… pic.twitter.com/ehu0zQ1nDt
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) October 16, 2015