Clark goes to bat for sickle cell


Steelers' players were focused on football during the day on Tuesday, but after practice they traded in their helmets for bats and gloves at the Ryan Clark Celebrity Softball game.

The game benefited Clark's Cure League for Sickle Cell, a disease he has the trait for and has faced complications from. In addition, Clark lost his sister-in-law Kim Norwood to the disease.

"For me it's about finding exciting ways to get sickle cell awareness out there," said Clark. "I don't want to bog people down with lectures and speeches all of the time. We are always doing something to get awareness out there about sickle cell, get a cure and know that when you donate, it's going to research. It's to honor my sister-in-law and tons of patients affected. It's great to be a part of it and great to be an ambassador."

The energy level was high during the game, and the competitive spirit came out as Clark and his teammates joined local media celebrities from KDKA.

The players, including Troy Polamalu, Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Ramon Foster, William Gay, Josh Victorian, Jonathan Dwyer, Drew Butler, Shamarko Thomas,Jerricho Cotchery, Shaun Suisham, Larry Foote, DaMon Cromartie-Smith, Robert Golden, Terry Hawthorne, Kelvin Beachum, Isaiah Green, Jamie McCoy and Nigel Malone, were split between the two teams with plenty of joking and teasing going on, but both teams wanting to win. Heath Miller and Brett Keisel were also on hand, giving their support to Clark from the dugout.

"It's good to find a way to get your teammates involved where they can come out and have fun," said Clark. "I wanted to find a way to get them involved, having a good time getting together to support a great cause." 

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