When it comes to fighting against breast cancer, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams isn’t stopping anytime soon.
To date, Williams, through The DeAngelo Williams Foundation, has covered the cost of 500 mammograms, Today.com reported. He first began sponsoring the screenings in 2015, about a year after his mother died from breast cancer. Williams, 36, has also lost four aunts to the disease.
“To be able to help all these women is amazing. This can be life-changing for these women,” Williams, who played eight seasons for the Carolina Panthers before he played two seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said in a statement to Today. “We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 16: DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during a NFL game against the Miami Dolphins on October 16, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)
So far, Williams’ foundation — through the “53 Strong for Sandra” program, named in honor of his mother and references the age she lost her breast cancer battle — has covered mammogram costs at hospitals in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina. The program initially started in Charlotte at the Charlotte Radiology and Levine Cancer Institute.
Williams, according to Today, was also largely behind the bid to allow NFL players to wear pink cleats in October in light of Breast Cancer Awareness month. In 2015, he reportedly asked the league if he could wear pink all year, but his request was denied.
“DeAngelo wants to ensure that no woman (or man) fights breast cancer alone,” Risalyn Williams, Williams’s wife and the executive director of the foundation, said in a statement to Today.