LA Chargers host event celebrating breast cancer survivors

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- The NFL is tackling cancer and raising awareness of the deadly disease with its campaign called "Huddle: Intercept Cancer."

The Los Angeles Chargers and volunteers took to the field to celebrate breast cancer survivors and help those still in treatment.

The wife of Chargers owner Dean Spanos, Susie Spanos, said a festival-style event she and her team planned is really a celebration of life.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer myself. So I know what it's like," said Spanos.

She said yearly mammograms helped her make a crucial catch that saved her life. So when the NFL teamed up with the American Cancer Society to "Intercept Cancer," Spanos saw it as an opportunity to give back to fans.

"Thank God for early detection," Spanos said. "That's why I believe everyone should be checked out, even men."

At the Dignity Health Stadium in Carson, hundreds of volunteers created care packages for patients, made pledges for loved ones and learned about wellness and nutrition.

"They are doing the blood drive and supporting those who are survivors," volunteer Sonya Hooks of Carson said. "I just think it's an awesome event."

And about a dozen rookie Chargers players got into the pink spirit.

"I feel like every team in the NFL tries to make it a big deal, but the Chargers do it better than some of the other teams," offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis said.

A few years after Spanos' battle with breast cancer, the Chargers became the first team in the NFL to offer free mammograms to their fans.

"It was very, very early so I was so fortunate," she said.

In honor of the NFL's 100th anniversary, the team is asking their fans to donate 100 minutes of their time toward a good cause.

And volunteering at the event is what many Charger fans are choosing to do.

"To me, you should give more than 100 minutes. It should be way past October," Hooks said.

"Not really sure how long I'm going to give, but I'm going to give as long as I can while I'm here," St. Louis said.

"I think that's a great way to spend those hours," Spanos said.

For more information on the initiative, click here.
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