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Giving hope to those who need it

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

It’s a frightening statistic. And it’s likely you know eight women, one of which could be a part of that startling statistic.

That is why the Steelers are doing their part to help fight the battle against breast cancer, beginning today with the start of breast cancer awareness month.

For the 17th year the Steelers are supporting A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based foundation that is focused on not just finding a cure, but helping young women who are battling what can be a deadly disease.

On Monday night, David and Bonnie DeCastro and Alan and Julie Faneca hosted Bid For Hope, an event that helps raise funds to aid researchers and help those going through treatment.

Over $2.5 million has been raised thanks to the collaboration with the Steelers through the years, and it just continues to grow. For the second year UPMC Magee Womens Hospital is matching the funds for research, with over $200,000 total likely to be raised this year.

“The help from the Steelers has elevated us to a whole new level in Western Pennsylvania because the programs we are able to support are nowhere else in the country,” said Diana Napper, founder and president of Glimmer of Hope. “We are now replicating those programs to go across the country. The fact that the Steelers have helped us since the first Bid for Hope, they are such a huge part of the success we have been able to have.

“I am overwhelmed by their generous hearts, especially the David and Bonnie, who stepped up this year. They have been wonderful helping us out.”

DeCastro has attended the event in the past, and this year he teamed with Faneca to host the event.

“It’s a great cause first and foremost,” said DeCastro. “And doing it with Alan, a person I have always looked up to. It’s an honor and pleasure to help him any way I can and bring attention to the cause. I am so happy to do it.

“I have had family, an uncle come down with cancer. It’s tough. It happens so fast. It’s an unfortunate part of life. I think everyone can look around and see family that has been affected by cancer. It’s help to bring awareness and help fight the cause.”

The players mingled with guests, and signed autographs, before helping with a live auction.

“When you hear the players, they talk about moms, sisters, aunts, and they understand how important these women are,” said Napper. “And they have other family who have been impacted by cancer. For them to embrace this cause and fight for breast cancer research is remarkable. For these tough football players who play a rough sport, you see a different side of them when they see a breast cancer survivor walk into the event. It’s emotional, but it really touches your heart.

“We keep working to find a cure. We are looking at metastatic breast cancer research. We’re looking at so many different treatment options that weren’t there 10 years ago. Every penny we raise will go to Magee to protect young women with breast cancer.”

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