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This NFL player is paying for 53 mammograms to honor his mother

Posted at 2:42 PM, Oct 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-18 14:48:54-04

Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams is pledging to pay for 53 mammograms to pay tribute to his mother who died of the disease.

Williams’ mother, Sandra, was just 53 when she died of breast cancer in 2014. Four of his aunts also died of the disease — all before they turned 50.

The DeAngelo Williams Foundation will pay for the mammograms at hospitals in Pittsburgh and Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s where Williams played for the Carolina Panthers from 2006 until being picked up by Pittsburgh in 2015, according to

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The foundation first hosted the “53 Strong for Sandra” last year withCarolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute and Charlotte Radiology. The event gave uninsured or under-insured women free mammograms and follow-up care.

Williams has long been an advocate of early detection and led the charge in 2009 to allow players to wear pink cleats during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, according to

“It’s not just about October for me; it’s not just a month, it’s a lifestyle,” Williams said. “It’s about getting women to recognize to get tested.”

The Steelers say that the player’s non-profit’s “Williams Warriors” team has raised over $500,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.