Dear NFL commissioner and whom else it may concern,
First of all, I’d like to than you for your support of Breast Cancer awareness and the American Cancer Society each October. My grandmother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer in 1994, and the cause is close to my heart. My grandfather is a colon and prostate cancer survivor, so I appreciate that your profits from the auction of the NFL player-worn pink merchandise is going to the American Cancer Society rather than a type-specific cancer organization. For your philanthropy in this realm, I am truly grateful.
However, my intentions for this letter are more than for gratitude. I am writing to ask you, why can’t you go further? Did you know that September is Alzheimer’s Awareness month, and that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? And that each of these causes, like breast cancer, have colors to represent the awareness of the diseases? And that, like cancer, each of these diseases leads to thousands of deaths in the United States and the world each year?
I am personally writing because I live with type 1 diabetes, and have many friends and family members who live with type 2 diabetes. The struggles we face every day cannot be compared to someone living with cancer, because they are far from the same, but they are important not only to us personally but to the nation as a whole.
Commissioner, I know that the NFL is active in the Play 360 campaign. A positive effect of this campaign would be to reduce the number of type 2 diabetes cases in children. Because you seem to already be on board for this type of campaign, I urge you to look into dedicating one week in November to allow awareness of diabetes the way you do breast cancer in October. Our color is a pale blue. It would be great to see players wearing purple in September for Alzheimer’s, and blue in November for Diabetes. You’ve taken the step to very publicly support one non-profit fighting a disease that affects millions of Americans, and I can assure you that the same positive feedback would occur if you took on other causes in a similar manner. I also urge you to look into the International Diabetes Federation or the American Diabetes Association for organizations to donate money to in the name of the NFL.
Fall is the season of fundraising events and awareness events for many organizations fighting against life threatening diseases, and since it is also the season of the money-makingest sport in America, it would make a lot of sense to unite the two, especially in the midst of lockouts over money while the rest of America is in the grips of recession. Your fans live with more disease than just breast cancer. Please consider my offer for this November.
Sarah Jane Blacksher
Person with Diabetes since age 11