On Monday afternoon, the Colts teamed up with their partners to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a noticeable way.
"We're dying the canal pink, as we do every year, to not only raise awareness and raise money for breast cancer research, but to also encourage people to give generously to all cancer research," said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. "Because we want to live in a world where cancer simply doesn't have a place."
The Indianapolis Colts, joined by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett,gathered Monday afternoon to dye the Downtown Canal pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and the Colts' celebration of A Crucial Catch, the NFL's effort to raise awareness and funding to battle all types of cancer.
For the 10th year, the NFL is doing its part to intercept cancer with its expanded Crucial Catch campaign. Started in 2009, the program has raised more than $18.5 million for the American Cancer Society. This season, funds raised through A Crucial Catch will be directed to the support of three screenable cancers: breast, colorectal and cervical.
"The new Crucial Catch for the league is focusing on all cancers to help spread the love and the impact the league has been able to have on breast cancer," said Colts Owner and Vice Chair Kalen Jackson. "I think we all got together and realized the impact we could make on all cancers, so we're really excited about that."
And although they could only dye the canal one color, Colts mascot, Blue, showed up to show off his colorful new look for the month.
"Blue is our representation of the new Crucial Catch. Not only does he look like a unicorn (laughs), little girls are going to go crazy, but it's really unique and we like to stand out and we like to think outside the box," Jackson said, "and anything that can bring more awareness to all cancers, especially breast cancer, but all cancers – we're so happy to be a part of that."
With three women in ownership and a large female fan base – for the Colts, much of October is still about breast cancer.
"There's still a lot of work that needs to be done," Jackson said.
For people walking along the Downtown Canal near the Ohio Street basin on Monday, it was a bold and bright reminder.
"Since we started screening mammography in the 90s, the mortality rate for breast cancer has decreased by almost 40 percent. It's made a huge difference," said Katy Patterson with IU Health. "It's the best weapon we have right now in the fight against breast cancer."
But they can't do it alone.
That's why the Colts teamed up with their partners – the City of Indianapolis, IU Simon Cancer Center, the American Cancer Society, and Ashley HomeStore – because they know that together they can do more, reach more, and raise more.
"We work with so many great organizations with the American Cancer Society and also near and dear to our heart is the IU Simon Cancer Center. The work that they do is just unbelievable," Jackson said. "Another really important one for me is the Komen Tissue Bank. It's unique, it's the only one of its kind, and the stuff they've been able to do there – just to be able to say that our city is the one leading the way in that is something of pride for me. I know we'll continue to be leaders in this field."
A community coming together to battle a common enemy – one that's touched the lives of almost everyone in it.
"In a time of incredible division and controversy," Hogsett said, "this is a fight that unites us all behind an important cause for the long-term health and wellbeing of the people that we love and care about so deeply."
To join the fight, go to: http://www.nfl.com/crucialcatch.