Good morning, 12s.
Here’s a look at what’s ‘out there’ for today – Friday, October 18 – about your Seattle Seahawks:
Catch It While You Can
An unexpected diagnosis of colon cancer is the last thing a 22-year-old college student expects or anyone at any age for that matter. Mill Creek native and cancer patient Melanie Poch was lucky enough to be diagnosed early and catch the cancer when she did.
On Thursday, the Seahawks brought in cancer patients and survivors treated at Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan, and some of their physicians, to attend a closed practice at the team’s practice facility in Renton. The visit was a small part of the Seahawks’ part in a month-long campaign, Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer, created by the NFL and the American Cancer Society. The campaign focuses on cancer awareness activities to promote early screening and testing to detect cancer in its earliest stage.
“I feel very fortunate that my cancer was caught when it was,” explained Poch. “If it had been much later it would’ve spread. I thought the tests I underwent for screenings were unnecessary and I’ve known for years that my chances of developing cancer in my lifetime were high. I’m so glad I did them though because it’s spared me and my family a lot of pain and grief.”
The Cascade College student had just returned from a three-month study abroad trip to Oceania and recently celebrated her 22nd birthday. She got the call from her gastroenterologist to tell her that her intestinal biopsy of an unknown mass in her colon came back as cancer. After undergoing a series of surgery and treatment, she expected to come out of it a much healthier individual.
“I never thought I’d be someone diagnosed with colon cancer at 22,” Poch admitted. “It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you. Getting the word out about early screening will help many have their cancer detected early in the game… something I learned makes a huge difference in the amount and duration of cancer treatments.”
Throughout the month of October, teams around the League are hosting their Crucial Catch games in support of the campaign and to raise awareness for early cancer detection. The Seahawks are set to host their Crucial Catch game on Sunday, October 20, against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field.
Dr. Bruce Lin, MD, specializes in hematology and medical oncology, specifically in gastrointestinal oncology, at Virginia Mason. “Screening for colon cancer makes a huge difference and can be lifesaving if the cancer is caught early,” said Lin. “When colon cancer or rectal cancer is found before it has spread, it’s often curable. Colon cancer screening saves lives!”
Lung cancer is another cancer that Crucial Catch focuses on, although you’ll notice that the variety of colors throughout the campaign represents multiple cancers that can be detected early.
An avid Seahawks fan, 85-year-old Josephine Anderson had quite the crucial catch. Being healthy and active her whole life, Anderson didn’t suspect anything serious back in 2011 when she started coughing up blood on her drive home from work. With the minor suspicion that maybe she’d caught a bad cold, the Port Orchard native decided it was time to check-in at a local urgent care clinic.
A chest X-ray revealed a concerning spot in her lung, so Anderson was referred to CHI Franciscan for a chest scan. Soon after, Josephine was diagnosed with lung cancer. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, the cancer returned, twice. Anderson’s care team helped her navigate the ups and downs of an eight-year cancer battle with dedication and compassion.
“I have to do what’s best for me, and that’s to keep going,” said Anderson, who works as an in-home senior caregiver. “I never stop. I never stop to think about the cancer or how much time I have left. My theory is that if you need to put everything you have into fighting cancer, this is the time you should do it.”
“I just feel like it’s not my time to quit.”
The group of patients, doctors, and their families were energized while watching practice, even more so once the three horns sounded and the guests of honor got the opportunity to meet and greet some players and coaches. Rachelle Cunningham, a 54-year-old colon cancer patient, expressed her gratitude for the Seahawks’ support. “It’s wonderful that the Seahawks are using their influence and visibility to raise awareness for cancer screening and prevention—people of all ages look up to the players. Personally, I’m honored that my surgeon invited me to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
Breast cancer survivor Sarah Jepson, 57, was particularly excited about the opportunity to watch the closed practice. “The Seahawks participation in Crucial Catch is inspiring!” shared Jepson. “I appreciate them taking time to brighten our day. I’m a huge fan and to be able to meet some of my favorite players was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Jepson noticed a large lump in her left breast two years before her diagnosis and immediately suspected cancer. However, due to a lack of health insurance, the Auburn native didn’t seek medical help until she was persuaded by her daughter Melissa, who was also battling breast cancer. After arranging a low-cost mammogram and ultrasound, the biopsy revealed that Sarah’s tumor was an aggressive form of breast cancer. “My daughter is leading the way,” said Sarah. “She’s showing me how to be strong, and I couldn’t go through this without her.”
Dr. Michelle Haslinger, MD, who was present at Seahawks practice, is a breast cancer surgeon at CHI Francsican that helped Jepson map out a treatment plan for her cancer. She emphasized the importance of early screenings and how “screening mammograms improves survival when starting at age 40. Timing can make a significant difference because it allows diagnosis at earlier, less advanced stages.” Haslinger mentioned that she chose Jepson as her patient for Crucial Catch because “she is a fighter with a positive attitude, currently going through chemo, with surgery as the next step. She would be a great inspiration to other patients. She is a huge Seahawks fan as well!”
In additional efforts to represent the campaign, you may have noticed the CenturyLink arch lights featuring an array of the colors that represent cancers throughout the week.
You can do your part in support Crucial Catch activities throughout October in a few different ways. The Seahawks will donate 12% of the proceeds from in-store Pro Shop purchases of Crucial Catch headwear to Crucial Cash. In partnership with Virginia Mason & CHI Franciscan, these funds will help local patients who cannot cover the incidental costs of cancer treatment. CenturyLink Field concessions also plan on donating $0.25 from every Dasani bottled water purchase to Crucial Cash at the game this Sunday.
Visit Seahawks.com/CrucialCatch to learn more about cancer screenings and early detection.
Social Post Of The Day
Today’s ‘Social Post of the Day’ comes from Q13 Fox Sports Director Aaron Levine, as he shares a humorous clip from Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett mic’d up on Seahawks Saturday Night.
More From Around The Web
Seahawks.com’s John Boyle writes up a story recapping cornerback Shaquill Griffin’s performance so far this season.
Follow this link to find the practice report from Thursday’s practice.
Joe Fann at NBC Sports Northwest elaborates on the Seahawks players’ and coaches’ thoughts on this Sunday’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. Fann also analyzes some plays from the Seahawks’ Week 6 matchup in Cleveland in the ‘Seahawks film room,’ and reports on tight end Will Dissly’s positive outlook regarding his injury.
Brady Henderson and Jamison Hensley from ESPN.com preview the Seahawks’ home contest with the Baltimore Ravens and the ‘return’ of Ravens safety Earl Thomas.
Brent Stecker from 710 ESPN Seattle shares his thoughts on the impact Seahawks DT Jarran Reed will make upon his return this Sunday.
David Grosby from 710 ESPN Seattle predicts that 12s will ‘appreciate Earl Thomas in his return.’
Gregg Bell from The Tacoma News Tribune shares some Seahawks players’ thoughts on Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas.
A group of Crucial Catch patients and doctors from Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan visited Seahawks practice on Thursday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.