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Bengals Legends Support Kettering Health Cancer Center Patients, Caregivers

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If you work at Kettering Health Main Campus, you may have noticed some activity in the parking lot of the Kettering Health Cancer Center late last week. On Thursday, September 29, Cincinnati Bengals legends and their families gathered to support caregivers, patients, and their families as they provide and receive care.

As part of our partnership with the Bengals, we hosted more than a dozen former Bengals players, two Ben-Gals, and staff members of the cancer center to assemble 800 care packages, sign banners, and share video messages of encouragement.

The goal of the event? To help fight cancer by raising awareness of early detection and encouraging preventative screenings. Alex Simons, director of Community Engagement for the Bengals shared, “The positive impact that our partnership is going to make on Bengals nation is why we’re here today. My hope for this partnership is that it will save lives.”

Ring of Honor Bengals Alumni Willie Anderson understands how partnerships like ours contribute to the worldwide battle against cancer. “Early detection is the way to beat this thing and the way to get ahead of it. I think the more educated people can get, the better off they will be to fight the disease,” he said.

After assembling hundreds of care packages, the alumni players visited patients inside the cancer center. Michael Fitzpatrick, a patient who was receiving treatment for colon cancer, said chatting with the legends made his day just a little bit brighter.

“It was a nice change of pace to see the alumni Bengals players during my cancer treatment. My favorite part was seeing how large they are in real life,” he joked.

The event also supported NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative, which focuses on fighting cancer through early detection and risk reduction. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, Crucial Catch provides individuals with the tools they need to better understand early detection and ways to reduce their cancer risk.

Jimmy Phillips, Kettering Health vice president of Marketing and Communications, opened the event with a note on the purpose of the partnership. “When we sat back and envisioned what the peak of this partnership would look like, it was this event. It was the opportunity to kick off Crucial Catch Month. We can’t always prevent cancer, but early detection saves lives.”

Regular screenings often equate to more years lived. Five-year survival rates shoot above 90% for most cancers when caught early because treatment becomes that much more successful.

The Bengals’ 27-15 defeat Thursday evening over the Miami Dolphins was an exciting conclusion to the days’ events.

October 5, 2022