Column by Tyler Dixon, graduate assistant
Cancer doesn’t care. Cancer doesn’t care where a person falls on the poverty line. Cancer doesn’t care what a person looks like or if they’ve led a good life.
DeAngelo Williams is a Pro Bowl running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and cancer didn’t care who his mom or the rest of the women in his family were.
Williams’ mother and four aunts had the BRCA1 mutation. This mutation greatly increases the chances of getting breast cancer.
Though Williams’ mother died of the disease in May 2014, her son has continued to do everything in his power to continue her legacy through his foundation, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation.
The former Carolina Panther has been very vocal about his feelings toward the disease and even wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune on Oct. 5 honoring his mother, but Williams has said not all of those people close to him have been so supportive.
Williams’ mother died while he was still a member of Carolina and the only person in the organization who came to his mother’s funeral was former Panther Greg Hardy who was a member of the team at the time. Williams said many people reached out to him during his time of need, but Hardy was the only person to show up.
Williams attended the University of Memphis where his first game for the Tigers was against the Murray State Racers.
Williams isn’t the only player supporting Breast Cancer Awareness during the month of October; the entire NFL is holding special events and wearing special gear in support of those afflicted with this terrible disease.
The Buffalo Bills had an event where cancer survivors had their own locker in the stadium and the number on their jersey were the number of years they have been a survivor. Other teams have done similar things with fans holding signs and celebrating survivors before the game and during halftime.
While the NFL does great job during October, more could be done. Breast cancer doesn’t only occur during the month of October. Women don’t have their lives drastically changed through radical mastectomies only 31 days a year.
Cancer doesn’t have an offseason. It doesn’t leave a person’s mind after they clock out of work. Cancer doesn’t care, but we should.