Williams, Komen Agree Breast Cancer is a Priority Year-Round
Susan G. Komen® and Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams today announced the launch of a partnership aimed at keeping the fight against breast cancer top-of-mind all year long – not just during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.Williams, through The DeAngelo Williams Foundation and with Komen, will participate in breast cancer education campaigns aimed at African-American women and raise funds for research and other programs to improve outcomes for women facing breast cancer.
Football fans have grown accustomed to seeing Williams and other National Football League (NFL) players wear pink accessories on game days during the NFL’s breast cancer awareness campaign during October. “But the fight against breast cancer goes way beyond any one month,” said Williams, who lost his mother and four aunts to breast cancer.
“Supporting women and men battling this disease should be a priority every day of the year,” Williams said. “Through our new partnership, we’re encouraging everyone to do something every day in support of the breast cancer community. I’m proud to join forces with Komen on this initiative. We are all in this together.”
Williams has deep ties with Komen. Since 2009, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation has raised nearly $300,000 for the Susan G. Komen Charlotte Affiliate via his foundation’s participation in the Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure.In 2014, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation started “53 Strong for Sandra,” which sponsored 53 mammograms at a hospital in Charlotte, NC, and in the coming months, will be doing the same in Pittsburgh, PA and Memphis, TN, in addition to Charlotte.
Williams’ mother, Sandra Hill, lost her battle to breast cancer at the age of 53, while his four aunts, Linda Faye, 32, Mamie Earl, 46, Mary Beatrice, 44 and Theresa Gaye, 49, all lost their battle with breast cancer before they turned 50.
“DeAngelo Williams’ story mirrors an untold number of African-American families whose mothers, aunts and sisters die of breast cancer at rates 44 percent above those of Caucasian women,” said Dr. Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S., president and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “DeAngelo has proven time and again that he’s committed to reducing these death rates by raising funds for research, education, and access to quality cancer care for all women. We are so grateful to have such a dedicated and passionate player as a partner in our mission to end breast cancer forever.”
Komen has invested more than $90 million in scientific research to identify genetic and socio-economic factors that lead to health disparities, and in 2015 alone has invested $25 million in community health programs specifically targeting African-American women.Proceeds raised by the campaign will benefit both foundations by supporting Williams’ work to provide free access to mammograms in the communities that need it most, and supporting Komen’s metastatic breast cancer research and efforts to eliminate disparities in screenings and treatment.