As part of their commitment to the NFL's "Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer" campaign, the Browns will host their annual cancer awareness game against the Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday. The game is presented by University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, where Browns players visited earlier this week to interact with patients, family members and medical staff, in addition to UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.
For the 14th consecutive year, the NFL, Browns and American Cancer Society are working together to support the fight against cancer through "Crucial Catch:Intercept Cancer." The initiative was expanded in recent years to raise awareness, encourage early detection and address risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers, in addition to breast cancer.
The Browns and University Hospitals (UH) are incorporating various elements throughout the week and on gameday to further recognize everyone who has been impacted by cancer.
In pregame, Tiffany Baumann, a 10-year cancer survivor of Stage 3 breast cancer, will present the national anthem, while Gina Cortese will serve as the team's honorary coin toss captain. Cortese was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at 20 years old while attending Kent State University. During her experience, she was inspired to help others by creating Gina’s Journey, which provides fashionable hats to children and adults battling cancer at UH at no cost. Cancer thrivers, survivors, family members and caregivers selected by American Cancer Society and UH Seidman will also be on the field, including to assist with the presentation of the flag and pink-ribbon banners.
Several in-game features, including the end zones and player gear, will prominently feature pink elements with the goal of raising additional awareness for breast cancer and the importance of regular screenings. The field walls will also be completely redesigned to include pink imagery, as well as include an "I Fight For" banner, which has been marked with special messages from Browns players and staff, individuals from UH and participants in the recent Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Patients receiving treatment from Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital will also be the game's kickoff kids, in conjunction with Howard Hanna.
During the team's First and Ten community event on Tuesday, Gs Joel Bitonio, Michael Dunnand WyattTeller, DE Myles Garrett, LB Jacob Phillipsand KCade Yorkraised spirits of oncology patients receiving treatment for various types of cancer at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, as well as visited pediatric patients' rooms at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (b-roll available upon request). Dunn, Teller and Phillips are among Browns players and staff members who have close personal ties to individuals who were diagnosed with cancer. Dunn's wife, Marissa, learned she had breast cancer in 2019, while Phillips' grandfather and Teller's grandfather (skin cancer) also faced forms of the disease.
The American Cancer Society is a First and Ten community partner. Prior to Sunday's kickoff, ACS will be on Dawg Pound Drive sharing information about early screening and detection. University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center representatives will also be present on Dawg Pound Drive to share cancer awareness and screening information.
In partnership with the Browns, Howard Hanna will also be integrated into Sunday's Crucial Catch game, when they will present UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital with $130,000 through their Children's Free Care Fund's 2022 campaign. Howard Hanna will host a station on Dawg Pound Drive to raise additional funds for the initiative, as well as make a $57 contribution for each of Cleveland's first downs during the contest. Since 2005, the Children's Free Care Fund has provided more than $2.5 million to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital to offer free medical care and services.
Marking their 20th year contributing to the Browns' efforts, Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae and collegiate members will #give10 as they distribute pink ribbons on Dawg Pound Drive to help raise awareness and show support.
As part of the awareness efforts for the "Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer" campaign, the Browns will also continue its involvement in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the American Cancer Society. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Browns hosted a walk team during ACS' annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, which incorporated FirstEnergy Stadium.
Since its inception, Crucial Catch has placed an emphasis on getting screened and catching cancer early when it may be easier to treat. New this year, through funding provided by the NFL as part of the Crucial Catch initiative, fans and members of the NFL Family will be able to easily find their nearest cancer screening center and additional screening resources at NFL.com/CrucialCatch or by texting "CATCH" to 635635. The site also provides resources for fans to determine the type of cancer screening they need, a cancer hotline and a 24-hour chat for anyone who needs their screening questions answered.
The NFL has funded the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates Implementation Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants since 2012, which have contributed to more than 600,000 screenings in under-resourced communities and reached more than 1.3 million individuals through education, screening reminders and patient navigation. CHANGE grants are currently removing barriers to cancer screening in the 32 NFL markets. Some of the services provided this season include providing funding for mobile mammograms, expanding screening services to the uninsured and operations outside of normal business hours, plus rides to those experiencing transportation barriers.
Game-worn "Crucial Catch" merchandise will also be auctioned on NFL Auction (nfl.com/auction). The NFL does not profit from the sale of "Crucial Catch" merchandise.Charitable contributions are donated to the American Cancer Society to support its CHANGE grant program.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day Network. The Stay in the Game Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism through a partnership between the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Harvard University's Proving Ground, as well as the Columbus Crew. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2022-23 school year, the Stay in the Game! Network will partner with 17 school districts, benefitting more than 150,000 students in Ohio. No matter the circumstances, the Stay in the Game! Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, visit StayinTheGame.org.
Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten – *Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to *#give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, more than 2.75 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio:
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of more than 20 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system's flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including "America's Best Hospitals" from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit www.uhhospitals.org.
About American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly 2 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org.