Last Sunday may have been the "Battle of the Beltway", but it also served as the Ravens Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) game. Throughout the month of October, the Ravens find many ways to support those who have been personally affected by the disease, and are committed to bringing awareness to the cause to help save lives.
It all kicked off last Sunday, when the Ravens honored a group of 32 women – a combination of breast cancer survivors and those currently undergoing treatment – prior to kickoff during an on-field ceremonial tribute.
"I want to thank the Ravens for the opportunity to go on the yesterday," Angie Butler stated, a breast cancer survivor and proud member of the Red Devils, which is a local organization that provides services to help improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families. "It was such an amazing experience. I'm sure you will think I'm crazy to say this, but having breast cancer has been such a blessing for me. It put my life in perspective and made me realize what was really important. To me, that was family, friends and helping others – and that life is not just about 'stuff' or 'things'. Also, breast cancer has given me the chance to make new friends, lots of wonderful memories and experience new adventures, like being honored on the field during a Ravens' game!"
"Many thanks for a great day and opportunity to participate in the cancer survivor event at M&T Bank Stadium," Marion Harris said. "I am always glad to have an opportunity to be an encouragement to others who may be going through the battle against breast cancer. As a 35-year survivor, a time when a lot less was known about breast cancer, I know that I am truly blessed."
The celebration of life continued at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday, Oct. 10, when the Ravens hosted their second annual Sip 'N Paint Night. Over 100 women, comprised of Team Purple members and those who are currently battling or have overcome breast cancer, enjoyed a night of music, friendship, refreshments and a Ravens-themed instructional paint session provided by Trevino Paint. Pixilated photp
"Thank you to the Ravens for the invite to the Sip 'N Paint Night on Monday evening," Leatrice Whitehead stated. "I had such a great time and interacted with so many wonderful people. It was so inspiring to hear about other people's journeys and I got excited when I spoke to some that were 15 to 20-plus year survivors. I was diagnosed in November 2014, two days before I was flying out to New Orleans to watch the Ravens play the Saints on Monday Night Football. I asked my doctor, 'Can we take care of this when I come back?' I knew that this was going to be a long journey, but I wanted to spend my time doing what I enjoyed – watching my team play, win or lose. I didn't know my outcome back then, but I was optimistic that everything would turn out fine."
Whitehead (pictured above) added, "The Ravens are more than just football to me. They helped me get through some terrible times in my life. I get excited to watch the games and it allows me to not think of negative things when the season starts. When I finished my treatment, the first thing I asked my doctor was if I could travel to San Francisco to watch the team play. He approved the trip and it was my very first time to the West Coast. We lost, but I was a winner!"
After the game and Sip 'N Paint Night, the Ravens community relations staff received countless 'Thank You' messages from the ladies who participated. But really, the thank you goes to them, for their courage and bravery. It is why our team makes BCA month a priority, because these women are a source of strength, and we appreciate the efforts they make to tell their story and help save lives.
The Ravens will continue their BCA efforts this coming Sunday (10/16), when Ravens Team Purple participates in the annual America Cancer Society, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Then on Friday, Oct. 21, the team will once again highlight the color pink at the Ravens RISE High School Game of the Week in Howard County. (Details of the game will be announced next week.)
To cap off the month-long initiatives, Ravens cheerleaders and mascot Poe will head to A Crucial Catch Day on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Family Health Centers of Baltimore in Cherry Hill, where the American Cancer Society will award the facility with a $50,000 CHANGE grant. The grant helps community partners provide education, outreach, navigation and access to cancer screening in communities experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.