DeAngelo Williams lost his mother, Sandra Hill, to breast cancer in 2014. She was only 53 years old.
Williams has also lost four aunts to the disease, all before they reached the age of 50.
Those losses, coupled with his platform as a former athlete, spurred the former Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers player into action.
According to People Magazine, Williams wanted a way to honor his mother and aunts and decided to fund mammogram screenings for women across the country.
Through his nonprofit, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation, he has paid for 500 screenings at hospitals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Since his mother’s diagnosis, Williams has become an advocate for breast cancer awareness, and during his playing days he would show support during breast cancer awareness month (October) by dying his hair pink and wearing pink cleats.
Regarding the work his foundation has done, Williams said:
“To be able to help all these women is amazing. This can be life-changing for these women. We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”
Williams and his foundation’s goal is to host free mammogram screenings in all 50 states.
“DeAngelo wants to ensure that no woman (or man) fights breast cancer alone,” Risalyn Williams, his wife and executive director of the DeAngelo Williams Foundation, said.
(Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)