The month of October has had you seeing pink! To raise awareness and research funds for breast cancer, many organizations nationwide have made efforts to keep top of mind the disease that impacts so many women, their families, friends and colleagues. The Arena Football League is happy to do its part in helping to raise awareness and funds to combat a disease that affects many of our players, front office staff and fans.
Rush President and General Manager, Roger Wexelberg was impacted by
breast cancer after his sister was diagnosed 10 years ago.
sister had to go through chemotherapy, radiation and a double
mastectomy,” Wexelberg said. “Needless to say, it was a huge shock and a
lot ofanxious moments for everyone in our family.”
teams throughout the League have joined in the fight against breast
cancer by choosing one game each season and designating it as the breast
cancer awareness game. San Antonio, Iowa and Milwaukee all held games
to help raise awareness. The game included pink gloves, chinstraps,
sweatbands and a football with a pink stripe. When Iowa auctioned off
autographed pink striped footballs during the game, the auction alone
raised $2,000 for breast cancer research. Similarly, San Antonio
auctioned autographed pink gloves and wristbands. Proceeds which reached
$2,500 went toward breast cancer research as well.
game held a great deal of meaning for Barnstormers’ linebacker David
Bedford, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the
was up in Iowa and I found out during a game week so I wasn’t able to
go home or anything,” Bedford said. “I dealt with it up there with the
the pregame presentation, Bedford spoke to the local media about his
mother and the importance of raising funds and awareness for the
“It meant a lot to me to be a part of our awareness night,” Bedford said.
Bedford used his teammates as his support system while he coped with his mother’s diagnosis.
teammates came up to me and told me how they are all going to pray for
me, so they were great,” Bedford said. “The coaches asked me if I wanted
to take some time off and I told them I could deal with it but at the
same time continue to play.”
the National Football League may have led the charge to bring awareness
to the disease during October, the AFL is able to shed light upon the
issue of breast cancer during months where it might go unnoticed.
League is doing a great job because obviously October is the big month
for awareness and that’s when most people are thinking about it but we
need awareness year-round and it’s important to have other months with
breast cancer awareness games,” Bedford said.
Wexelberg’s sister is now a 10-year survivor of the disease.
just makes you grateful in our case that everything is alright but it
also makes you think about the families and the people that aren’t so
lucky,” Wexelberg said.
Bedford also shared good news regarding his mother’s condition.
is done with all of the chemo that she is required to do. Scans have
come back clear but I am sure that the doctors will definitely be
keeping an eye on it,” Bedford said. “She is ten-times stronger than I
am so I knew she would be fine and that she would be able to beat it.”
both Bedford and Wexelberg agree that the League has done a good job
raising awareness and funds for breast cancer, there is always room for
the awareness level up is hugely important,” Wexelberg said. “Then
conversely making that parlay into dollars because at the end of the day
that’s what we need to make sure families don’t go through it in the