BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns will honor National Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October during the seventh 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 Denver Broncos. The game is presented by University Hospitals. Cleveland also recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month during its 33-30 overtime victory at Baltimore, when the team's coaches and players donned pink gameday gear to help bring attention to the cause.
During Sunday's pregame ceremonies, the Browns will celebrate breast cancer survivors during the presentation of a symbolic pink ribbon flag. Honorees were nominated by loved ones and selected through an open-nomination process, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Paula Silverman will serve as the Browns honorary coin toss captain. Dr. Silverman is the interim medical director of breast cancer multi-disciplinary care and research at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. She is a recognized national expert in new treatments for breast cancer. Dr. Silverman has helped women in Northeast Ohio beat breast cancer for more than 25 years.
On Tuesday, the Browns, including DB Johnson Bademosi, WR Travis Benjamin, DB Ibraheim Campbell, K Travis Coons, WR Taylor Gabriel, DL John Hughes III, FB Malcolm Johnson, LB Christian Kirksey *and DB Tramon Williams, *visited University Hospitals patients who are battling breast cancer and other types of the disease in the Seidman Cancer Center.
Cleveland also participated in last Sunday's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, hosted at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Browns, who annually participates in the event, continued their support with a team comprised of Browns staff and members of the Browns Women's Organization, as well as hosted a First and Ten tent to provide information to encourage participants to inspire fans to #give10 by volunteering to help their communities.
Browns DB Tramon Williams' 38 Reasons Foundation *also *sponsored the 2015 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Through the Foundation, the 2011 Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl XLV champion 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. He has committed to donate $1,000 per interception and $500 per pass defensed this season to the American Cancer Society to support its efforts.
For the second time in as many years, FirstEnergy Stadium will be lit in pink throughout October to bring additional awareness to the platform this month.
Prior to this Sunday's contest, Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae and collegiate members will #give10 while distributing 15,000 pink ribbons to raise awareness and show support. Since the Browns began their partnership with ZTA in 2003, volunteers have distributed 275,000 THINK PINK ribbons to the Dawg Pound.
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 approximately $7 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. This 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.