The National Football League and NFL Players Association will support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their fourth-annual national breast cancer screening initiative and fundraising campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," reminds women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram. Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Susie Spanos, wife of Chargers president Dean Spanos, and players including Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and running back DeAngelo Williams have all embraced A Crucial Catch-each has been touched by breast cancer. In addition, Saints quarterback Drew Brees recently filmed a breast cancer awareness PSA with the American Cancer Society to show his support for A Crucial Catch.
To date, the partnership has raised more than $3 million for the American Cancer Society, with the majority of the donation coming from the sale of pink items at retail and on NFL Auction. Beginning this year, money raised through A Crucial Catch will support the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. This program provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women who need them. The NFL markets being supported in the first year of the program are Atlanta, Baltimore, New England, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
In 2011 alone, the NFL's A Crucial Catch campaign reached more than 151 million viewers, including 58 million women age 18 and older. The campaign's message is making a real impact-64% of NFL female fans and 61% of all NFL fans identify the importance of annual screenings, especially for women over 40, as the key message of the A Crucial Catch campaign.