Article Courtesy of the
December 22, 2015
A Pittsburgh Steelers running back is working to make sure that women around the world, including in Butler County, get screened for breast cancer.
DeAngelo Williams Tuesday presented a check to Dr. Ronald Cypher and the Butler Health System on behalf of his foundation to pay for 53 mammograms in honor of his mother, who died from breast cancer at age 53.
“To the women living with cancer and anyone effected by cancer, we will find a cure,” Williams said.
Cypher said that his practice, Advanced OB/GYN Associates, on Dec. 16 had its annual day on which it gave free Pap smears and physical examinations to women.
This year it also offered or gave out vouchers for free mammograms.
“There's a lot of women in Butler that have no insurance. It's a potentially life saving event for these women,” Cypher said of mammograms.
Williams said he chose the health system to receive the donation because his girlfriend Risalyn Burzynski had their third child, Junior, at Butler Memorial Hospital on Sept. 4. The family moved from Charlotte, N.C., to the Pittsburgh area in August when Burzynski was eight-months pregnant, and the Steelers referred them to Cypher, who delivered the baby.
Williams said, “He's a very good guy at what he does. He delivered the baby in record time.”
Williams, originally from Little Rock, Ark., played college football at the University of Memphis and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2006.
He spent his first nine seasons in the NFL with the Panthers before coming to the Steelers this year as a free agent.
Starting in the place of running back Le'Veon Bell for much of the season, Williams leads the team with 799 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns after 14 games.
His mother Sandra Hill died in 2014 after living with breast cancer for 10 years. He also had four aunts who died of the disease, none of whom lived past age 50.
He announced earlier this year that his foundation would present checks to a hospital near Pittsburgh as well as ones in North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas to cover the costs of mammograms.
Williams, along with his teammates, wore pink cleats and gloves on the field during October, which is permitted by the NFL for breast cancer awareness.
He also has worn pink highlights in his hair all season, which is not specifically forbidden by the league's uniform rules.
He said Tuesday that his pink hair has generated a lot of attention from fans.
“Everybody knows me by my hair,” he said.
He has seen fans holding up signs at both home and away games this year thanking him for his charity work.
“I try to make my way over to them to say 'hi.' People appreciate what we're doing,” he said.
Williams said that the NFL is a business and is not obligated to act as a moral compass highlighting different causes or charities, but the players should take advantage of the platform they are given to try and make a difference.
“We're all obligated to do something based on what has affected us personally. For me it happened to be breast cancer,” he said.