With the Miami Dolphins set to play the Denver Broncos in Sun Life Stadium this Sunday, the team's first home game in over a month, the franchise's Breast Cancer Awareness events kicked in to high gear. As the NFL conducts their "A Crucial Catch" campaign in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Dolphins, specifically the Miami Dolphins Women's Organization, held a luncheon to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, with head coach Tony Sparano's wife, Jeanette serving as host and key note speaker.
Designed to inspire, featuring women, and men, who had beaten, or were currently fighting, breast cancer, the luncheon's goal was to influence men and women to take care of themselves and assist their local community.
As relayed by Amy Kent of MiamiDolphins.com, Ms. Sparano was "without a doubt, the most influential speaker."
"You don't have to do a grand gesture, every single one of us can do one little thing," Jeannette said. "Even if it is just to help someone with their bags at the grocery store or get to know your neighbors better. That's where a sense of community starts - in our neighborhoods, our schools, our churches, our own communities. If you see something that needs to be fixed, you do it. Don't wait for someone else to fix it. Why not? Someone has to do it, why not us? Step up, take the initiative and make a change instead of complaining that no one else is doing it."
Jeanette recalled a high school friend who lost her mother to breast cancer, speaking about how taboo it was to talk about the disease back then. She pointed out how far society has come since those days. She also talked about her sister, who was diagnosed with, and beat, the disease in 1999.
"Even though we have come so far in treatment, it is still a very scary diagnosis," she said. "It is still a very difficult process to go through but it doesn't have the pending sense of doom that used to be associated with a diagnosis. You don't feel like you've been given a death sentence. You're in for a battle and you're in for a challenge for yourself and your whole family.
"To me, I have a dear friend who was diagnosed last month and hearing her options, which were so different from what my sister had treatment wise, and her outlook and the outlook from her health team, it was a much more optimistic and proactive approach rather than a reactive one, like when my sister was going through it."
Included in the luncheon was Jim Dunn, the Vice President and General Manager of JM Lexus. The comany works within the Miami area, raising breast cancer awareness.
"Philanthropy is in our DNA, we thoroughly enjoy it and we look forward to it," Dunn said. "Out of our 350 associates employed at this dealership we have at least 150 women on staff here at JM Lexus. Some of the ladies here today are breast cancer survivors and this afternoon their stories were told. These empowering women directly reflect the impact this disease had had on our dealership family. Their personal experiences are very inspiring and great stories to tell.
"Breast cancer is such a dreaded disease and we are hearing through the media how important it is to make women more aware and earlier," Dunn continued. "We know how important regular mammograms and care are for women under 40. It used to be thought that you waited until you reach the age of 40 to begin routine care. We support women in every way at JM Lexus with early detection and their routine breast health by offering all of our women associates free mammograms."
Ms. Sparano concluded her comments stating, "Women are doers. When you get a group of women together that have similar opinions to help the community there is a force of action," she said. "There is no greater force to me than a group of motivated women."
Those women will continue to be motivated this Sunday. The Miami Dolphins Women's Organization will have a booth established at Gate G for Sun Life Stadium before the game, where they will be passing out pink ribbons for fans to wear during the game. Between 10am and 12:30pm, they will also be holding a silent auction, with bidding open for player's cleats, gloves, and other items.