KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Sunday afternoon an estimated 75,000 fans attending a football game at Arrowhead stadium stood at half time to recognize loved ones who have been impacted by cancer. The very impactful moment was done as part of the league’s Crucial Catch initiative which encourages early cancer screenings.
“No one is immune to cancer so if we can play our part, even in a small role to bring awareness to everyone so that we can save one more life or get detection before something happens, that's part of what we want to do,” said Bill Chapin, Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Seven cancer survivors were also recognized at half time on Sunday’s game, with each representing one of the screenable forms the disease - breast, colon, cervical, childhood, colon, general, lung and prostate. Among those who were recognized, was Tim Grimes.
“In August of 2014 I was diagnosed with stage four melanoma. It was in my liver, lungs, spine and lymph nodes and at that time I was given, originally 12 - 18 months,” said Grimes.
The years that followed his diagnosis have been an emotional rollercoaster ride.
“ I've done a clinical trial and about six different treatments. It eventually spread to my brain so I had to have brain surgery in the spring,” Grimes explained.
“ At 28 [this diagnosis] was very unexpected, but I knew I wasn't ready to be done yet so I just did what I could to enjoy life as much as possible, whether it was 9 months, or 18 months or another 30 years,” he adds.
“ I'd like to think that I'm going through this so somebody else doesn't have to. If I can encourage someone else to go get checked or get screened at a time that they may not have thought about it, that`s my main goal right now,” said Grimes.
The Chiefs partnered with The University of Kansas Health System and the American Cancer Society in this event. The “Crucial Catch” initiative has raised more than $18 million since 2009, and expects to create an even bigger impact this season as it expands beyond just breast cancer to all screenable forms of the disease.