As part of this weekend's kickoff to the 2017 Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer *campaign, the Rams are dedicating Sunday's contest against the Seahawks as their "Crucial Catch*" game. This year, the National Football League and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are expanding their efforts to support the fight against cancer through the *"Crucial Catch:Intercept Cancer" *campaign. After nearly a decade of supporting breast cancer, the NFL and ACS have evolved the campaign to address early detection and risk reduction efforts for all cancers to increase their impact.
Players may wear cleats and wristbands in any color representing their cancer of choice during their team's Crucial Catch game. Twelve Rams players who have a personal connection to cancer will wear colored cleats recognizing the cancers listed below:
DB - Blake Countess
S - Cody Davis
Kidney Cancer & Leukemia
WR - Cooper Kupp
T - Cornelius Lucas
G - Jamon Brown
P - Johnny Hekker
WR - Josh Reynolds
S - Marqui Christain
DE - Morgan Fox
WR - Robert Woods
WR - Tavon Austin
TE - Tyler Higbee
NFL-issued Crucial Catch branding and gameday apparel will feature a new multi-colored logo representing all cancers. Beginning on Sunday and continuing through Week 7, NFL Crucial Catch games will feature:
• Game balls with the Crucial Catch logo used for every down
• Multi-colored equipment for players including: helmet decals, captains' patches, and quarterback towels
• Multi-colored ribbon pins for coaches and teams
• Caps and pins for game officials
• On-field multi-colored ribbon stencils and Crucial Catch wall banners
• Multi-colored goal post padding in end zones
Game-worn Crucial Catch merchandise and footballs will be autographed and auctioned at NFL Auction (nfl.com/auction). The NFL does not profit from the sale of Crucial Catch products on NFL Auction. Charitable contributions are donated to the American Cancer Society to support its CHANGE grant program.
Additional details about the ways the Rams are integrating "Crucial Catch" at Sunday's game include:
• 100 fans who have fought or are currently battling cancer will be recognized in the end zone as the players take the field.
• The Rams will host a variety of non-profits and the cancer patients and families they serve including American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Skin Cancer Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and Padres Contra El Cancer.
• Volunteers from Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) will be positioned outside the Coliseum passing out pink breast cancer awareness ribbons to fans as they enter the stadium. ZTA is encouraging fans to use the hashtag #ZTAThinkPink to show their support while wearing their pink ribbons.
• Former linebacker CHRIS DRAFT and two Team Draft Survivor Series representatives will light the Coliseum torch prior to kickoff. In 2006, Draft met his wife, Keasha Rutledge, who helped him establish TEAM DRAFT, an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation before passing away from lung cancer in 2011. More information is included below.
Since 2009, more than $18 million has been raised for ACS through the partnership. Money raised through Crucial Catch this season will support 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. Since 2012, grant recipients have contributed to more than 152,000 screenings and more than 344,000 education and outreach interventions.
For the third consecutive year, healthcare centers in all 32 NFL team markets will receive a $50,000 CHANGE grant to increase access to screenings and additional cancer prevention and early detection programs. In addition, the NFL will again work with ACS and CHANGE grant recipients to host education sessions and/or screenings in their communities, and many NFL teams will participate in these educational activities, bringing these potentially life-saving messages and screening services to those who need them most.
In Los Angeles, the Crucial Catch initiative will fund free adult health screenings next Wednesday, October 11 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Venice Family Clinic's Irma Colen Heath Center in Mar Vista. The event is open to the public.
As part of this year's campaign, the NFL and ACS recently launched a new, digital tool – THE DEFENDER – that provides consumers with personalized tips to reduce their cancer risk. The Defender, funded by the NFL and developed by ACS, analyzes user-input health information to provide individuals with quick, informative and personalized recommendations on how he or she can take action to reduce his or her cancer risk. More than 50% of all cancers can be prevented through simple lifestyle modifications, like avoiding tobacco, sun exposure, staying fit and healthy through proper nutrition and physical activity. The free user-friendly tool allows fans to take control of their health and increase their understanding of how healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce their cancer risk. Fans may access The Defender at TheDefender.cancer.org.