Browns support Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted Sep 27, 2011

The Browns will show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness in a variety of ways throughout the month of October.

During Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, the Browns will show their support of the NFL’s A Crucial Catch, Annual Screening Saves Lives Breast Cancer Awareness program.

Although the Browns have dedicated the Titans game to raising awareness for the cause, fighting breast cancer is a year-round priority of the team. Earlier this year, the Browns hosted the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“It was truly inspiring and rewarding to host the event at the stadium this year,” said Jenner Tekancic, manager of community outreach for the Browns. “Most of the focus on breast cancer awareness happens during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, but there needs to be constant awareness. For us to open the stadium in May for the event re-enforced our commitment to the cause.”

Prior to the game, breast cancer survivors will take part in special on-field activities. Players will be wearing a variety of pink apparel, from wrist bands and chinstraps to gloves and shoes. The goal post pads will be pink and pink ribbons will be stenciled onto the field.

The Browns will again partner with Zeta Tau Alpha alumni and collegiate sorority members to hand out pink ribbons to those in attendance.

“We will revisit the Making Strides Campaign and recognize breast cancer survivors who were nominated by their loved ones through the American Cancer Society,” Tekancic said. “These individuals will be our honored guests at the game and will form the gauntlet for player introductions. We find this to be a very inspiring moment for both the players and organization, as well as those who are participating in the formation of the gauntlet.”

The Browns Women’s Organization will be helping the team raise awareness, as they debut their customized pink jerseys at the game. They will also make a visit to the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute in the days following the game against Tennessee.

Several Browns players, including four-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas, linebacker Scott Fujita, kicker Phil Dawson and wide receiver Joshua Cribbs, have personal connections to breast cancer, as does team president Mike Holmgren.

Thomas’ mother-in-law, Judy Nelson, battled breast cancer, as did Fujita’s adopted mother, Helen. Cribbs’ grandmother passed away from the disease.

Holmgren’s wife, Kathy, was diagnosed in 2001 and he was one of the first to wear a pink ribbon on an NFL sideline.

“When the message comes from high-profile individuals who share their private stories, it’s very poignant because breast cancer is something that can affect everybody, regardless of demographics,” Tekancic said. “Cancer is a disease that can impact you when you least expect it, and the Browns proudly help create awareness for the cause. Ultimately, knowledge is power.”

Throughout the month of October, Panera Bread is a proud sponsor of the Cleveland Browns Breast Cancer Awareness efforts. Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Cleveland, Akron and Canton cafes, fans can purchase a Browns travel coffee mug for $10 with portions of the proceeds benefitting the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. On Oct. 5, Panera Bread will be selling pink ribbon bagels, also to benefit the Taussig Cancer Institute. Player appearances will further support the effort to raise awareness. will turn pink for the month of October as well.

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