Since his mother’s passing from breast cancer in 2014, former Pittsburgh Steelers DeAngelo Williams embarked on a quest to assist others in preventative measures. According to TODAY, the running back plans to cover the costs of 500 mammograms under his self-titled foundation.
In a video explaining his relationship to breast cancer, the pro-athlete honored his aunts and other women battling the disease. “Pink is not a color, it’s a culture to me,” he said. “I wear the color pink on the field for the rest of my career. To all the survivors and the ones that’s going through it, we love you. You’re not alone. We will continue this fight against breast cancer.”
At age 53, Williams’ mother, Sandra Hill, passed away from the disease. Four of his aunts also died from breast cancer, which claimed their lives before the age of 50. In previous years, Williams established an event titled “53 Strong for Sandra” that offered 53 women a chance to receive a mammogram.
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) October 11, 2015
In a statement issued to TODAY, Williams said this decision can cut medical costs for those who need access to the screenings. “To be able to help all these women is amazing. This can be life-changing for these women,” he said. “We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”
Although breastcancer.org notes breast cancer diagnoses in the states have steadily decreased since 2000, “new cases of invasive breast cancer” diagnoses in women are estimated to reach 268,600 in 2019.