Beyond Athletics

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How the NFL is Saving Lives

NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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By Jason Meredith from Louisville, KY, US (Breast Cancer Awareness)

Football fans noticed a change in uniforms on some of our favorite teams this weekend. Some were as subtle as a pink ribbon donning the front of a jersey, while others were as bold as old gloves and shoes replaced with a magenta pair.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, bringing attention and awareness to a disease that will infect over 230,000 women this year in the U.S. alone.

The statistics surrounding breast cancer are staggering. This disease has a profound effect on the population as a whole, given the countless friends and family members fighting alongside their loved ones. If you’re reading this, there is a very good chance (almost a guarantee!) you or someone you love has been touched by breast cancer.

How the NFL Saved a Woman’s Life

While there are many devastating stories surrounding a breast cancer diagnosis, there are also over 3 million survivors currently living in the U.S., and a celebratory story was brought to light this weekend involving Beth Steele and the NFL. Steele, a mother of four and New England Patriot’s fan, proved the NFL’s efforts towards the fight against breast cancer is not all for show, not all for cute pink sweatbands, or all in vain.

After attending a game in October 2013 and experiencing the hype the NFL created for breast cancer awareness month, Steele went home and did a self-breast exam. Discovering a lump, Steele made her way to the doctor, where she was tested immediately and diagnosed with a massive and aggressive breast cancer. Had she not attended the Patriots v. Bengal’s game just a few days beforehand, she may not have caught her cancer in time. A year later and in remission, Beth was featured on the TODAY Show Friday as a part of the “Together We Make Football Series”. Check out her full interview here.

Hats off to Steele, for her courage and strength, and hats off to the NFL, who has been under a lot of fire lately – this campaign is saving lives.

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About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.