Browns host “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” game against Cardinals (10.14.21)


Oct. 14, 2021



NFL, Browns, American Cancer Society raise awareness for all types of cancer


BEREA, Ohio – As part of their commitment to the NFL’s “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign, the Browns will host their annual cancer awareness game against the Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday. The game is presented by University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.


For the 13th consecutive year, the NFL, Browns and American Cancer Society are working together to support the fight against cancer through Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer.” The initiative was expanded in recent years to raise awareness, encourage early detection and address risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers, in addition to breast cancer. This year, Crucial Catch will again be part of the League’s It Takes All of Us cause brand platform.


Throughout the week and on gameday, the Browns will recognize cancer survivors, along with University Hospitals. As part of the gameday activations, Helen Welch, a cancer survivor, will present the national anthem. Additionally, the First and Ten Spotlight Moment will recognize Tim Tusick, a 21-year old cancer survivor who received treatment at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospitals and helped raise nearly $1 million to help the community combat leukemia. The team will also host University Hospitals patients, family members and caregivers for a VIP experience in a suite throughout the afternoon.


During halftime, the Browns will share the stories of Bernadette Scruggs and Dr. Robert Shenk. Scruggs was diagnosed with breast cancer approximately 15 years ago and was fortunate to catch it in early stages during a mammogram. She then received treatment from University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Dr. Shenk, who is an associate professor at CWRU School of Medicine and is the longest-standing member of the division of surgical oncology, having worked at University Hospitals for 34 years.


On Oct. 5, the Browns, DE Myles Garrett and LB Sione Takitaki hosted a virtual visit with oncology patients receiving treatment for various types of cancer at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital during its First and Ten community visit (b-roll available upon request). Garrett in 2021 partnered with University Hospitals as a Browns ambassador. Takitaki is passionate about cancer awareness efforts after losing his father, Vaimaua, to adeno carcinoma and metastasis forms of cancer when Takitaki was only 14 years old. In 2020, the Browns LB participated in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” program to support The Littlest Heroes, which supports local kids who are battling cancer and their families.


The American Cancer Society is a First and Ten community partner. Prior to Sunday’s kickoff, ACS will be on Dawg Pound Drive, where fans will have the opportunity to take the First and Ten pledge and learn how to support or volunteer with the organization. University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center representatives will also be present on Dawg Pound Drive to share cancer awareness information.


Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae and collegiate members will once again #give10 as they distribute pink ribbons on Dawg Pound Drive to help raise awareness and show support. The Browns and ZTA have partnered together for more than 20 years.


As part of the awareness efforts for the “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign, the Browns will also continue its involvement in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the American Cancer Society. On Saturday, Oct. 9, the Browns hosted a walk team during ACS’ annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, which also featured FirstEnergy Stadium.


“Crucial Catch” encourages people to catch cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. This year, that is a greater challenge than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on screening. At the height of the pandemic, some cancer screenings declined by 90 percent. Through “Crucial Catch,” the NFL and ACS are allocating resources dedicated to safely restarting cancer screenings in communities with the most need. For some forms of cancer, the five-year survival rate is above 90 percent when detected early before it has a chance to spread.


Since 2012, the NFL has funded ACS’ Community Health Advocates Implementation Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants, which have contributed to over 600,000 screenings in underserved communities and reached more than 1,100,000 individuals with education, screening reminders and patient navigation, bringing these life-saving messages and screening services to those who need them most. 


All 32 NFL teams have the option of supporting early detection and risk-reduction efforts for one or multiple cancers in-stadium and in their communities. In addition, players may wear cleats and shoelaces in any color representing the type of cancer awareness they support and/or have been impacted by during their team’s dedicated “Crucial Catch” game.


NFL-issued “Crucial Catch” gameday apparel will feature a multi-colored logo representing all cancers. New this year, New Era and Nike have created newly designed “Crucial Catch” gear, highlighting the NFL’s commitment to drawing awareness to and supporting multiple cancer prevention efforts. Fans can purchase NFL-licensed items on


Game-worn “Crucial Catch” merchandise will also be auctioned on NFL Auction ( The NFL does not profit from the sale of “Crucial Catch” merchandise. Charitable contributions are donated to the American Cancer Society to support its CHANGE grant program.


About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:

The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team’s signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit


Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day! Network. The Stay in the Game! Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2020-21 school year, the Stay in the Game! Network will partner with 16 school districts, benefitting more than 100,000 students in Ohio. An adaptation of the Get 2 School, Stay In The Game! Network, the name change reflects the current environment where schools may not necessarily be able to host in-school learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the circumstances, the Stay in the Game! Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, visit


Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns’ goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.


First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team’s community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual’s city across the globe, as well as the franchise’s local community. To date, more than 2.75 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team’s website and by sharing their stories with #give10.


About University Hospitals

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 23 hospitals (including 5 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit


About American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly 2 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to


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