Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James wears a pink pair of his signature Nike shoes in observance of breast cancer awareness month in the second quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 92-87. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Although orange and black are the traditional colors of October, the color pink has made a strong surge to place itself as an additional color in the tenth month of the year. Pink ribbons, t-shirts, shoes, balloons, cereal boxes, and magazine covers have flooded the nation this month to bring awareness and raise funds to help fight breast cancer. Professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB were wearing pink on game days to show their support for the women and families who are suffering from this dreadful disease.
Leading the charge in the fight against breast cancer here in Columbus, OH are Chris and Stefanie Spielman. Stefanie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 and has been battling it - off and on for over ten years. Chris has been by her side every step of the way; shaving his head and setting aside his NFL career to support his wife and family. Together, the Spielmans have raised more than $6.5 million for cancer research.
As Stefanie’s health has declined in the last few months, the former OSU and NFL linebacker has had to come to terms with the probability of life without his high school sweetheart. He has recently talked about having serious conversations with his oldest two children Madison (15) and Noah (13).
“I told them there’s more challenges ahead," Spielman said. “I said, ‘Look, there’s three things I do and three things you guys need to do throughout this time in your lives: one; you do not crawl, walk or jog to God. You run to God for peace and strength. Point two; you have to trust your instincts. Both of you have the Holy Spirit inside your heart. He will guide you on the decisions you make. Believe and trust in that.’ And the third thing I told them was to honor your mother in everything you do all the time.”
The Spielman family is a testimony of strength and courage. They are the perfect examples of getting off of the bench, battling in the trenches, and playing through pain. They have encouraged and inspired millions of people all over the world. But more importantly, they have instilled a solid faith and passion for God in their children, leaving a lasting legacy by living and sharing the love they have received from their Creator.
This video is a recap of ten years of Stefanie's Champions. Now entering its 11th year, Stefanie's Champions honors those whose dedication and strength were powerful influences in the lives of cancer survivors.
Stefanie Spielman established Stefanie's Champions to recognize one of the most critical factors in surviving cancer: loving, unwavering support. In Stefanie's case, such support during her battle with breast cancer came from her husband, Chris. That is why Stefanie gave him the very first Champions award. It is her hope that every cancer survivor can name someone who stood by them, gave them courage and helped them through. (From OSU The James)
Although Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to a close for some, there are many who will continue to be very aware - dealing with its affects daily. So, let’s not forget them, hold on to your pink, and continue to pray.