The Cleveland Browns will honor National Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October during the eighth consecutive year of the NFL's and NFL Players Association's "*A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives" *campaign, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the team announced.
The Browns will host their dedicated breast cancer awareness game during this Sunday's matchup against the New England Patriots. The game is presented by University Hospitals.
During pregame, the Browns will recognize breast cancer survivors during the presentation of two custom pink ribbon banners that include names of individuals who have been impacted by breast cancer. Honorees were nominated by loved ones and selected through an open-nomination process, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society.
Browns alumni RB Ernie Green(1962-68) will serve as the team's First and Ten Coin Toss captain, celebrating his exceptional work as an advocate for breast cancer awareness in the community and inspiring others to #give10 through volunteering. Green, who rushed for 3,204 yards and 15 touchdowns in 89 games with the Browns, is a breast cancer survivor and since has generously offered his time to helping families and individuals who have battled the disease. Green received his treatment locally at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
On Tuesday, the Browns, including RB George Atkinson III, DB Trey Caldwell, K Cody Parkey and DL Danny Shelton,* *visited patients who are receiving treatment for various types of cancer at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
Browns DB Tramon Williams' 38 Reasons Foundation *also *focuses on breast cancer awareness, detection and prevention. Williams' aunt passed away from breast cancer, while he and his wife, Shantrell, have also been significantly affected as her grandmother, mother and two aunts all battled cancer. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl XLV champion has committed to donate $1,000 per interception and $500 per pass defensed this season to the American Cancer Society to support its efforts.
FirstEnergy Stadium will once again be lit in pink throughout October to bring additional awareness to the platform during BCA month.
Prior to Sunday's contest, Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae and collegiate members will #give10 while distributing 20,000 pink ribbons to raise awareness and show support. Since the Browns began their partnership with ZTA in 2003, volunteers have distributed 290,000 THINK PINK ribbons to the Dawg Pound.
All fans attending Sunday's game will receive a Dawg Pound fandana that also include breast cancer awareness ribbons, courtesy of University Hospitals.
Beginning in Week 5, NFL breast cancer awareness games will feature game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down and pink kicking tees; pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains' patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels; pink coins used for the coin toss; pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives; special caps, and pink wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials; on-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners; and pink goal post padding in end zones.
Local football teams of all ages can also participate in the movement by supporting the American Cancer Society. Through #give10, teams are encouraged to share their stories of how they are promoting breast cancer awareness during their games.
Select game-used items will be available on NFL Auction (www.NFL.com/auction) throughout the month, with all net proceeds from the sale of breast cancer awareness items benefiting the American Cancer Society. Special pink merchandise, including Browns gear, is also available at www.NFLshop.com.
In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," is a breast-cancer screening initiative, reminding women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram, and fundraising campaign.
Since 2009, the NFL's work has raised nearly $15 million for the American Cancer Society, with the majority of the contribution coming from the sale of breast cancer awareness identified pink merchandise at retail and via the NFL Auction website. The NFL does not profit from the sale or auction of pink merchandise. For more information, visit www.NFL.com/pink.
Money raised through A Crucial Catch supports the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates implementing National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. The program provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women who need them.
Fans can visit www.ClevelandBrowns.com/community or www.NFL.com/pink to learn more about the campaign and the youth and high school football initiative, as well as important breast cancer detection information, prevention tips and more.
About University Hospitals
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 40 outpatient health centers and 200 physician offices in 15 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system's flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located on a 35-acre campus in Cleveland's University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes 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, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, dermatology, transplantation and urology. 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 Harrington Discovery Institute at UH – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is the second largest employer in northern Ohio with 26,000 employees. For more information, visit www.uhhospitals.org.
About American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991 and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to its progress, nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. ACS is determined to finish the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society is finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air and more. For more information, to get help or to join the fight, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.