October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, always a special month for former NFL running back DeAngelo Williams.
Williams lost his mother, Sandra Hill, to breast cancer in 2014 at the age of 53. Since 2014, Williams — who is now retired — has dedicated his time to fighting back against the disease.
He founded The DeAngelo Williams Foundation to help pay for mammogram screenings, and on Wednesday it announced it has sponsored “well over 500 mammograms and have no plans of stopping” since the nonprofit was started five years ago.
“To be able to help all these women is amazing,” Williams told “Today” about the accomplishment. “This can be life-changing for these women. We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”
Williams, whose mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, has always been vocal and outwardly shown support for his mother and relatives who have battled breast cancer throughout his playing career.
While playing with the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers during his eight-year career, Williams dyed his hair pink — still does, by the way — and would wear pink cleats during the league's Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiative.
In 2015, a year after his mother died, he wanted to wear pink on his uniform all year-round to honor her, but the NFL denied his request.
Williams’ foundation has worked with hospitals in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina. He hopes to expand to have a presence in all 50 states.