October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Houston Texans and the NFL are once again doing their part to promote the cause through the League's month-long A Crucial Catch campaign.
One of several promotions the Texans ran as part of the BCA initiative was a contest to determine who would hold the Texas flag in the field during pregame ceremonies at the Oct. 9 Pink Ribbon Day Game. To enter the Contest, fans submitted a description of why participating in Pink Ribbon Day ceremonies would be meaningful to them in 200 words or less.
Twenty-five winners were selected by a Texans representative and rewarded with two tickets to the Thursday night matchup and the opportunity to be a flagholder before the Texans take the field to play the Indianapolis Colts.
Below are five incredibly moving stories of survival and of survival and triumph submitted by Texans fans:
This is for my 20-year-old daughter Elizabeth who is my hero. I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in March of 2012. With no family within 1200 miles of Houston, I was fearful of laying this heavy burden on my only child. I didn't need to worry - my brave, sweet child stepped up and became my mother, sister and best friend overnight. She became my dietician - making sure I ate properly; my chef - preparing meals that rivaled the finest restaurants; my personal shopper – grocery shopping and running errands...all while keeping her 4.2 GPA at Lamar High School. She sat with me at all 16 chemotherapy treatments during the spring & summer of 2012 - even the last four treatments that lasted 3.5 hours each. When my hair fell out she comforted me, the one and only time during this journey, when I broke down and cried in front of her. She proudly wore "pink" in support of me. She was my savior, my cheerleader and my comforter during that dark, frightening time and I will never be able to repay her for what she did for me. Elizabeth participating in the Pink Ribbon Day ceremonies would mean the world to me because I know it would mean the world to her - to receive tickets to her beloved Texans and proudly carry the flag representing something that she and I shared - and BEAT together. Two years cancer free
on October 25, 2014!
After beating breast cancer when I was 32 years old with 2 small children, I never thought I would have to go through that again. Then, after being a 22 year survivor, I was diagnosed last year with Stage 1 breast cancer. We had another scare this past August but thankfully I can say I'm now cancer free! And if it wasn't for my 2 beautiful girls, who are now grown, and my husband of 31 years, I don't think I would of had the strength to go through a Masectomy and reconstruction. This past year has been long but beating this cancer twice has only empowered me more to get breast cancer awareness out there! I didn't let it take over and I won!! Keep fighting!!
Roy Comeaux Jr
My wife, Anne, is a 3-time cancer survivor (breast, uterine, breast again). In 2008, my employer sponsored a Race for the Cure team; I walked (at age 65) for the first time. I decided I'd do the walk to raise funds, not just fun. I raised $1,030 of the 54-member team total $1,845. I carried the names of 10 cancer survivors and victims on that walk.
When my employer chose not to sponsor a team in 2009, I decided to continue – again "not just for the tee shirt." Since then, the Komen organization has recognized me as the #121 fundraiser, then #107, #55, #41, and last year #33.
My only daughter was diagnosed with Lupus recently. Good news for Lupus is that they're not likely to get cancer. Unfortunately, she did have cancer and it was removed this year. Her first words to me were "Dad, you're going to carry my name on the Race this year, aren't you?"
Last year I joined the Houston Texans race team and was the #1 fundraiser on the team that raised over $15,000. This year I'm trending to be the #1 fundraiser on the Houston Texans race team again. And I'll be carrying the names of almost 150 cancer survivors and victims on the walk.
Being on the field with the flag would be meaningful to me as honoring the more-than-fifty benefactors who have supported my efforts this year.
My name is Debbie Homann. I lost a very dear cousin to breast cancer last year, with no other breast cancer in her family history. On June 9th of this year I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. I had a bilateral mastectomy just 5 weeks ago, and still have a long battle ahead of me. But through it all, I try to remain positive, and promote awareness whenever and wherever I can. Thank you for considering me.
Coincidentally, October 9th is a sovereign day for me and I haven't thought of a method of how to commemorate it yet. It was the day I received a call at work asking for me to report to my doctor's office, it was the day they told me I had stage III breast cancer at the age of 26 with 2 small children. It's been a very long journey for me since, starting with 7 months of chemotherapy. I did all of my treatments at MD Anderson, and had the best of the best doctors. A grueling surgery, recovery process and 30 rounds of radiation later I am cancer free as of June 2nd this year. My main message to convey is most importantly early detection, which is what ultimately saved my life. Also that it can happen to anyone, at any age as it doesn't discriminate. My darling husband, children and myself are HUGE Texans fans and I could think of no better way to commemorate my one year mark of my journey by treating them to the experience of a lifetime for all their patience and understanding with me in the last year because in my opinion, nobody deserves it more than those 3 rocks in my life. Also giving me an opportunity to be an example for all young fighters and survivors who trudge this journey along side of so many more of us. I would be grateful to just be there, I watched my friends and family hold signs for me in last year's event and it was truly a moving moment of support. Thank you, for all you're doing to raise awareness for this cause. It means much more than you know.
Be in your seats early on Thursday to honor these breast cancer survivors and the other women currently battling the illness during pregame ceremonies.