Rolling Out

The NFL, American Cancer Society, Henry Ford Health, and more hosted ‘Make Time for Mammogram Day in Detroit’

The event highlighted the importance of follow-up care in breast cancer outcomes, emphasizing early detection and treatment adherence.
Press play above to hear first-hand interviews from Jenni Beamer, Senior Executive Director, MI Cancer Society; Eddie Murray, Former Lions Kicker; Kimberly Williams, Cancer survivor; Josh Paschal, Detroit Lions Defensive End and George Jamison, Detroit Lions Legend (videography courtesy SS Media)

In a collaborative effort to underscore the significance of follow-up care in enhancing breast cancer outcomes, the National Football League (NFL), Detroit Lions, American Cancer Society, Henry Ford Health, and The Wellness Plan joined forces to host Make Time for Mammogram Day to kick off the NFL Draft in Detroit. This event, set against the backdrop of a healing arts activity for cancer patients and mammogram recipients, aimed to raise awareness and promote early detection within the Detroit community.


The initiative was supported by the recent allocation of the American Cancer Society Links to Care Community Grant to Henry Ford Health and The Wellness Plan, facilitated through the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative. This grant, awarded to six pilot NFL markets in 2023, was geared towards fostering stronger connections between community health centers and NFL-affiliated hospitals. Its overarching goal was to ensure that patients underwent recommended screenings, received follow-up care, and adhered to treatment plans, thereby enhancing their overall outcomes.


Jenni Beamer, the senior executive director for the Michigan American Cancer Society, emphasized the importance of partnerships in ensuring access to screenings and follow-up care. “It was critical,” she asserted, “to ensure that people had access to screenings. Early detection was absolutely the key, along with following through on treatment plans and follow-up care, regardless of one’s ability to be insured or pay.”

Former Detroit Lions player, Eddie Murray, expressed his support for the event, highlighting the partnership between Henry Ford Health and Crucial Catch. “A lot of the players had connections to people who were undergoing cancer treatment, and we are here in partnership with Henry Ford Health System.”


Kimberly Williams, an ovarian cancer survivor, shared her personal journey and stressed the importance of early detection. “Any woman with ovarian, breast, or any type of cancer,” Williams emphasized, “should get checked out. Early detection is the key.”

Current Detroit Lions player, Joshua Paschal, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the importance of early detection in ensuring better treatment outcomes. “The earlier you detect it,” Patterson affirmed, “the safer you are in the long run with treatments.”

George Jameson, another former Detroit Lions player, reiterated the significance of early detection in combating cancer. “The name itself, ‘crucial catch, implied the urgency of catching this disease before it was too late.”

Through events like Make Time for Mammogram Day and initiatives such as Crucial Catch, the NFL and its partners leveraged their platforms to advocate for early detection, follow-up care, and treatment adherence. By fostering community engagement and collaboration, they aimed to empower individuals to prioritize their health and well-being, ultimately striving for better outcomes in the fight against breast cancer.

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