Sports Star Funds Over 500 Mammograms To Honor His Mother
When breast cancer took the lives of the women he loved, he made it his mission to help others in need.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers player DeAngelo Williams knows just how devastating a diagnosis of breast cancer can be. He lost his mother and four aunts to the disease. His aunts all passed before any of them turned 50 years old.
Williams has been an advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness since he first got into the game. He started sponsoring mammogram screenings through The DeAngelo Williams Foundation's '53 Strong for Sandra' program in 2015. His mother, Sandra (pictured with Williams below), passed when she was 53 years old.
The organization funds screenings for uninsured and under-insured women at each of its events. In addition to the screenings, they cover the cost of follow-up appointments and treatments when needed.
This year is no different. Williams will pay for more screenings through his foundation to bring his running total to well over 500 mammograms purchased since starting the program. And, according to a recent Facebook post by DWF, they have no plans of stopping.
"To be able to help all these women is amazing, Williams said in a statement to TODAY .
"This can be life-changing for these women. We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to."
Williams' love for all things pink goes way back. In 2009, he pushed for the NFL to let players wear pink during October (Breast Cancer Awareness month) and masses of pink wristbands, headbands, socks and cleats followed. But in 2015, when he pushed the idea further and asked the NFL if he could continue sporting the color all year long, the NFL's response was a big N-O.
The running back got around the rule by dying his hair pink all to honor his mother.
Now, his organization works tirelessly to raise awareness for the disease. They currently give free mammogram screening to women in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and North Carolina with goals to eventually offer the service in all 50 states.
Since he's such a big star you might think all the attention would go to his head, but after receiving a shout out from ESPN reporter Ed Werder on Twitter yesterday, Williams' response was, "Thanks I'm trying to help where I can."
Now that's a guy we can keep cheering for!
You can donate to The DeAngelo Williams Foundation by visiting the organization's website .
(Source: images The DeAngelo Williams Foundation Facebook )