Through the “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” initiative, the American Cancer Society and the National Football League (NFL) have teamed up to fight cancer and save lives since 2009, raising funds to broaden access to cancer screening and educating the public about the importance of prevention and early detection. Today, the American Cancer Society is proud to announce that 22 NFL players have committed to being ambassadors for Crucial Catch during the 2022 season. Many of the players listed have been impacted by cancer. Each will work with the American Cancer Society to use their influence to support cancer prevention awareness efforts and funding for access to cancer screening in under-resourced communities.
2022 Crucial Catch NFL Player Ambassadors:
- Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
- Jerome Baker, Miami Dolphins
- Miles Boykin, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Chandler Brewer, Los Angeles Rams
- Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints
- Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
- Michael Dunn, Cleveland Browns
- Marcus Epps, Philadelphia Eagles
- Cameron Erving, Carolina Panthers
- Caleb Farley, Tennessee Titans
- William Gholston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
- Johnathan Joseph, Retired
- Chris Lammons, Kansas City Chiefs
- Osa Odighizuwa, Dallas Cowboys
- Emmanuel Ogbah, Miami Dolphins
- Dalton Risner, Denver Broncos
- Dalvin Tomlinson, Minnesota Vikings
- Garret Wallow, Houston Texans
- Jonathan Ward, Arizona Cardinals
- Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers
- Josh Woods, Detroit Lions
“Being part of Crucial Catch has special meaning for me. My mother, father and a few extended family members have been diagnosed with cancer,” said William Gholston, defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “Cancer screening saves lives. I love having the opportunity to use my voice to educate and provide screening to those who need it. “
Cancer can impact anyone at any age and finding cancer early increases survival rates. Still too many individuals for whom cancer screening is recommended remain unscreened due to barriers to access. These barriers may be determined by variables outside a person’s control like zip code, education, income, and lack of health insurance. To address this issue, money raised through Crucial Catch funds the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants. These grants help Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and health systems in under-resourced areas execute strategies to remove barriers and increase access to cancer screenings. Building upon this effort, this year, the initiative is also helping fans and members of the NFL family find the nearest cancer screening center and additional screening resources at NFL.com/CrucialCatch or by texting “CATCH” to 635635. The site also provides American Cancer Society resources for fans to determine the type of cancer screening they need, as well as a 24- hour cancer hotline and a chat to get screening questions answered.
For those who want a fun way to support the cause, the American Cancer Society and the NFL launched a 25 push-ups per day, Crucial Catch Facebook fundraising challenge in September. Facebook users can opt-in via a Facebook group to connect with other users around the country, join teams or participate individually. Last year, the challenge raised $330,000. The goal for this year is $500,000. Fans can sign up at cancer.org/crucialcatch.
The NFL and all 32 teams support Crucial Catch and the fight against cancer all year. Since 2009, the initiative has raised more than $24 million, contributing to over 600,000 screenings and reaching more than 1 million individuals with education, screening reminders and patient navigation. In October, NFL teams designate home games and plan events with local organizations to bring awareness to the cause. For more information about the American Cancer Society’s work in health equity and disparities, go to cancer.org/healthequity.
This article was originally published October 11, 2022, by the American Cancer Society. It is republished with permission.