Cleveland Browns host “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” game against Baltimore Ravens (9.29.23)
For Immediate Release
Sept. 29, 2023
Browns join NFL and American Cancer Society to promote screening and early detection for all forms of cancer
BEREA, Ohio – As part of their commitment to the National Football League’s (NFL) and American Cancer Society’s (ACS) “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign, for the 15th consecutive year, the Cleveland Browns will host their annual cancer awareness game against the Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 1. The game is presented by University Hospitals (UH) Seidman Cancer Center, where Browns players visited earlier this week to interact with patients, family members and medical staff, in addition to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Crucial Catch was expanded in recent years to raise awareness, encourage early detection and address risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers.
The Browns and University Hospitals (UH) are incorporating various elements throughout the week and on gameday to further recognize everyone who has been impacted by cancer. During the team’s Browns Give Back Tuesday visit on Sept. 26, right guard Wyatt Teller, wide receiver Elijah Moore and linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk visited and shared gifts with oncology patients receiving treatment for various types of cancer at UH Seidman Cancer Center, as well as visited pediatric patients’ rooms at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (b-roll available upon request). Teller is among Browns players and staff members who have close personal ties to individuals who were diagnosed with cancer as his grandfather was diagnosed with skin cancer. Other players include linebacker Sione Takitaki, who lost his father Vaimaua to adeno carcinoma and metastasis forms of cancer, left guard Michael Dunn, whose wife Marissa beat breast cancer and tight end David Njoku, whose grandmother had pancreatic cancer.
On game day, the Browns will have multiple activations on Dawg Pound Drive to support the “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” game theme. Prior to kickoff, ACS and UH Seidman Cancer Center representatives will be on Dawg Pound Drive sharing information about cancer awareness, early screening and detection. Additionally, marking their 21st year contributing to the Browns’ efforts, Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae and collegiate members will distribute pink ribbons on Dawg Pound Drive to help raise awareness and show support.
In pregame, cancer survivors, family members and caregivers selected by ACS and UH Seidman will be on the field to assist with the presentation of the flag. They will also line the gauntlet during player introductions and both endzones for the National Anthem.
Mandel Childs will serve as the game’s honorary coin toss captain, while Fallyn O’Brien and Dalton Kramer will be the game’s Kickoff Kids. Both children are patients receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Childs is currently battling prostate cancer and is receiving radiation therapy at University Hospital. Up until this year, he was a health educator at Lutheran High School in Cleveland Heights. Having also worked as an African-American history educator, he is especially vocal about the importance of African-American males getting normal checkups and screenings. Mandel is currently going through prostate cancer treatment alongside his brother and brother-in-law.
Several in-game features, including the end zones and player gear, will prominently feature multi-stripe elements with the goal of raising additional awareness for all types of cancer and the importance of regular screenings. The team will also host UH patients, family members and caregivers for a VIP experience in a suite throughout the afternoon.
Game-worn “Crucial Catch” merchandise will also be auctioned on NFL Auction (nfl.com/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.
The Browns will continue to honor and recognize those impacted by all forms of cancer throughout the month of October with Crucial Catch and Breast Cancer Awareness month events and programming.
- Browns players will visit ACS’s Joseph S. & Jeannette M. Silber Hope Lodge, a home away from home for cancer patients and caregivers, on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Hope Lodge offers 24/7 access for patients receiving treatment.
- The Browns will partner with ACS to host the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer helps Walk at the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, Oct. 21. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer helps raise money to fund breast cancer research and provide patient services, such as free rides to chemotherapy, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.
- The Browns will host their second annual Browns Halloween Fashion Show for children battling cancer later this October. Kids and players will be invited to walk the runway in their spookiest Halloween costumes.
About Browns Give Back:
The Cleveland Browns are committed to championing youth football, education and social justice in our community and throughout Ohio. Browns Give Back is the Cleveland Browns initiative dedicated to supporting our fans and neighbors. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/community.
About the NFL and Crucial Catch
Crucial Catch is the NFL’s cancer awareness and early detection initiative, in partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS). Over the years, the NFL has helped ACS fund more than $27 million dollars through sales of Crucial Catch branded merchandise, NFL Auction, and general fundraising.
Funds raised support the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE Grants, which increase access to low or no cost cancer screenings in communities that need it most. CHANGE Grants have contributed to more than 650k cancer screenings in under-resourced communities and have impacted more than 1.3 million men & women with education, patient navigation, and screening reminders.
Crucial Catch empowers fans to take their health into their own hands by getting screened for cancer and educates fans about the importance of early detection and risk reduction. The initiative also creates opportunities to showcase the NFL family’s year-round commitment to create positive impact in the fight against cancer as it addresses disparities in underserved communities and tells impactful stories that connect fans with Clubs and players in meaningful ways.
About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio:
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 21 hospitals (including five 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, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and National Taiwan University College of Medicine. 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 UHhospitals.org.
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 www.cancer.org.
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