I'm sure that Baltimore Ravens fans noticed the pink cleats, gloves, wristbands, sideline caps and other equipment the team sported during October. I want to let the community know that the Ravens were much more than "pretty in pink" during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Football League's initiative, "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," reminds women ages 40 and older about the importance of annual mammograms. Through this initiative, the NFL provides funding to the American Cancer Society to help uninsured and underserved women access breast cancer screening and detect breast cancer early.
The pink gear worn by the Ravens has been auctioned to raise funds that are used to provide free clinical breast exams and mammograms for women in need. Thanks to the NFL, the Ravens and all other NFL clubs, more than $3 million has been raised nationally through the sale of pink retail items and the NFL pink auction. Best of all, this means that countless women's lives will be saved. All proceeds from the NFL pink items sold at their auction website go to support the American Cancer Society.
In our area, Harford County, which has one of the highest cancer incidence and death rates in Maryland, received $50,000 to support the fight against breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society wants to thank the NFL and the Ravens for their outstanding program. With their support, we were able to hand out boxes of birthday candles with mammogram reminders printed on them to October game attendees at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are as professional to work with in fighting cancer as their amazing performances on the field each week during football season.
The NFL estimates that more than 151 million viewers nationally were exposed to "A Crucial Catch" campaign during October. We know this educates the public about breast cancer and helps us to save more lives from the disease. And, it gets us closer to our ultimate goal — a world with more birthdays.
David Simpkins, White Marsh
The writer is vice president for market strategy and health equity at the American Cancer Society's South Atlantic Division.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun