Cancer affects everyone—the young and the old, the rich and poor, women, men and children, colleagues, family and friends.
Yet many cancers can be detected early, treated and even cured.
The Seattle Seahawks have designated the Seahawks vs. Texans game on October 29 as their Crucial Catch game, which is presented by Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Health. Under the Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer umbrella, the Seahawks, and other NFL teams will bring a focus to all cancers during October, particularly those that can be detected with early screening, such as breast, colorectal, cervical and lung cancers.
In previous years, the Crucial Catch game was awash in pink, as the NFL observed October's Breast Cancer Awareness month and honored breast cancer survivors during halftime activities.
"We appreciate that the NFL has given us the option to expand the Crucial Catch campaign to include multiple cancers," said Seahawks VP Community Outreach Mike Flood. "In addition to continuing our encouragement of regular breast cancer screenings, we are able to shine a light on other cancers that can be discovered and treated early."
Money raised through Crucial Catch this season will be directed towards support of three screenable cancers: breast, colorectal and cervical. Funding will continue to support the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, which provides outreach and cancer screenings to individuals in underserved communities. In addition, the Seahawks will add additional funding from the sales of knit hats and scarves starting October 16 through the end of the month. That funding pays for cancer patients to get rides to their lifesaving treatments through the "Road to Recovery" program.
To kick off Crucial Catch month, American Cancer Society debuted a new online health assessment tool called 'The Defender,' funded by the NFL. After answering a few questions (sex, age, date of birth, and lifestyle and eating habits), people will receive MVP tips – Most Valuable Prevention tips -- to help them reduce their cancer risk. As a fun bonus, each user can personalize the tool with their favorite team's colors. The tool analyzes user-input health information to provide people with quick, informative and personalized recommendations on actions one can take to reduce cancer risks.
"We know that more than 50 percent of cancers can be prevented through simple lifestyle modifications like avoiding tobacco, sun exposure and staying fit through exercise and proper nutrition," said Larry Andrus, executive director for the American Cancer Society of Washington and Alaska. "The tool is very user-friendly and allows fans to increase their understanding of how healthy habits can reduce their cancer risks."
During the Texans game on October 29, a group of Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Health cancer survivors will participate in several events to honor those who have battled the disease. Over the next few weeks, there will be Crucial Catch advertisements on social media, in newspapers and on mobile billboards. A Blue Friday rally is also scheduled for noon on Friday, October 27 in Seattle's Occidental Park.
"Early detection and taking steps to reduce the risk of cancer are so important," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO. "This collaboration with CHI Franciscan Health and the Seattle Seahawks is a tremendous way we can raise awareness and reach more people throughout the Puget Sound region and beyond."
"We are incredibly thankful to all survivors who are sharing their story and helping to spread awareness about the importance of early detection and getting screened to intercept cancer," said Ketul J. Patel, CHI Franciscan Health CEO. "Together with the Seahawks, Virginia Mason, and the American Cancer Society, we are proud to be able to further support our neighbors and families throughout the region in their journey toward health, wellness and cancer prevention."
For more information, Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Health have set up websites to help everyone better understand when screenings should be scheduled: VirginiaMason.org/CrucialCatch and CHIFranciscan.org/CrucialCatch.
Visit Seahawks.com/CrucialCatch to learn more about the campaign.
The Seattle Seahawks participated in a ceremonial flag raising today in collaboration with Virginia Mason, the Seahawks Official Health Care Partner, CHI Franciscan Health and the local chapter of American Cancer Society (ACS) to promote early detection and risk reduction through the Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer Campaign.