Former NFL Star DeAngelo Williams Helps Pay for 500 Mammograms To Honor Mom Who Died of Breast Cancer
Former NFL star DeAngelo Williams, 36, understands the grief of losing a loved one to breast cancer on a personal level.
Through his nonprofit organization, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation, the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back is helping break down the financial burdens that prevent many women from taking preventative measures that could save their lives.
Williams has lost five family members to breast cancer including his 53-year-old mother Sandra Hill in 2014. He also lost four aunts to the disease, all before they turned 50 years old, “Today” reported.
In 2009, he was a large advocate to get the NFL to allow its players to wear pink cleats during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
He even tried to convince the league to allow him to wear a pink uniform all season in 2015, but his request was denied, ESPN reported at the time.
Even though he has since retired from professional football, Williams is still using his influence to educate and equip women to fight against breast cancer — all in honor of his mom and his late aunts.
One of the ways he is doing this is through the “53 Strong for Sandra” program. His foundation hosts events at different locations and sponsors free mammograms for 53 women, which is representative of the age Williams’ mother was when she lost her fight to cancer.
The program began in 2015 and has since covered the cost of mammograms for 500 women, according to “Today.”
Since its beginning, the program has hosted events in Memphis, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh.
“To be able to help all these women is amazing. This can be life-changing for these women,” Williams told “Today.”
“We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”
The foundation hopes to eventually host free mammogram screenings in all 50 states.
Risalyn Williams, Williams’ wife and the executive director of The DeAngelo Foundation, told “Today” her husband is dedicated to helping women face breast cancer head-on.
“DeAngelo wants to ensure that no woman (or man) fights breast cancer alone,” she said.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.