20 pediatric cancer patients to participate in halftime event
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation are teaming up to kick pediatric cancers on Sunday, Nov. 21 when the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts.
Joining them will be 20 pediatric cancer patients from Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center who will ceremonially kick cancer at halftime. Dana-Farber also will hand out 10,000 rally towels to fans prior to the game.
"Every year, more than 10,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer, news that no family wants to hear," says Lisa Diller, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Dana-Farber/ Children's Hospital Cancer Center and director of the Perini Family Survivors Center and the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic for Cancer Survivors at the Dana-Farber.
"Fortunately, advances in research and care have dramatically increased survival rates for children with cancer, and we are better addressing treatment side-effects to help patients live full, healthy lives."
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation has launched "Kick Cancer," a season-long initiative to increase cancer awareness among Patriots fans, with Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners Healthcare.
The Kraft family has a long-standing relationship with Dana-Farber, including establishment of the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
"We are so blessed to live in this region where we have institutions like the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center," said Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft.
"Having a child diagnosed with cancer is one of the worst things that could befall a family. It's important for us all to continue to support the work that Dana-Farber is doing to save children's lives."
At each home game this season, the Patriots will raise awareness about cancer through messages to fans and the distribution of educational material. As part of the initiative, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Zoltan Mesko and linebackers Gary Guyton and Rob Ninkovich have filmed public service announcements promoting cancer screening.
Patriots running back Kevin Faulk will film a public service announcement raising awareness for pediatric cancers that will air in Gillette Stadium during the Colts game.
New England's best medical institutions also have partnered with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to provide fans with valuable information about screening and prevention both at Gillette Stadium and through the Patriots' web site.
For more information about the Kick Cancer initiative, including resources and information about cancer prevention and screening, visit www.patriots.com/community.