Britton Colquitt, Spencer Drango, Malcolm Johnson, Corey Lemonier, and Cody Parkey help students at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High decorate their stadium as thanks for their dedication to Breast Cancer Awareness. #give10
Malcolm Johnson didn't know what to think 10 years ago when his mother, Genesis, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Browns fullback went to a dark place because the word "cancer" terrified him. Ten years later, Genesis is healthy and Johnson is front and center in the Browns' support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
"It's heartbreaking to hear your mother who is going through so much pain and can't do anything about it," Johnson said. "Throughout the years I've learned more about it and I have become more aware."
Johnson was one of five Browns on-site at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School on Tuesday, where members of the school's volleyball and football teams covered the stadium in pink decorations to raise awareness for a disease that touches millions and millions around the world. On this day, Johnson was joined by offensive lineman Spencer Drango, kicker Cody Parkey, linebacker Corey Lemonier and punter Britton Colquitt. They congratulated the students and encouraged them to keep spreading the word about breast cancer before getting to work.
Beth Tupa, the wife of former Browns punter Tom Tupa, couldn't hold back her emotions as the players greeted the students. Tupa, whose daughter, Emma, is a member of the school's volleyball team, is a two-time breast cancer survivor and active in the school's fundraising for a metastatic breast cancer organization.
"Because Tom was in the NFL, I know Tuesdays are the day off for NFL players. That's the day they can spend with their family and get a little down time. I really appreciate five guys coming out here, it's really important to us," Tupa said. "I know that it's a big deal and we so much appreciate they decided to spend this day with us and really gives a big thanks to the girls and the guys for what they've done."
The Browns continue to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month, supporting the American Cancer Society and the team's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative as part of the "A Crucial Catch" campaign, throughout October. Throughout the month, the Browns and NFL are also encouraging local high school teams to join the initiative. For more information on the "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives" breast cancer screening campaign, visit nfl.com/pink.
At last Sunday's game against the Patriots, players donned pink cleats and hung pink towels from their belts to spread the word. Before the game, breast cancer survivors such as Tupa held banners in the middle of the field at FirstEnergy Stadium during the National Anthem.
Tupa teared up as she relived the moment Tuesday.
"That was a very humbling moment for me," Tupa said. "I did the three-day walk several years back. My daughter wasn't old enough to walk with me. We just don't have time now for her to do that again so for her to be down on the field with me was something else."
The Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world 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. 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.