Steelers cooking up something special

If there is one thing football players love to do it's eat, but on Friday they turned the tables and became chefs for a little while, cooking for women who are survivors or are going through breast cancer treatment.

"This is awesome, just to be out here supporting the survivors," said punter Zoltan Mesko. "It's a great experience for us. We're happy to help in any way we can."

Mesko, along with Kelvin Beachum, Chris Carter, Ramon Foster and Isaiah Green helped prepare a meal at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s "Cooking and Eating for a Healthy Life" class as a part of the team and NFL's commitment to breast cancer awareness.

"This was so awesome and makes you feel so special knowing there are people out there who do care and support you through what you are going through," said Beth Anne Crawford, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in August and attending with her sister who is also a survivor. "Hats off to the Steelers for stepping up to make us more aware and showing compassion and care for people in the community who are going through things."

Foster, who said he was the best chef among the group, got a huge cheer from the ladies after putting the finishing touch on chocolate tofu mousse.

"I had a ball," said Foster. "It's always been fun for me to cook. I do a lot of cooking at home. When they asked me to put it on public display it's always fun."

Foster also understands the serious side of it, knowing the cooking tips being offered will help the survivors as they move forward in life.

"It's good to see people who have beaten certain things in their lives," said Foster. "It's important to give back at something like this."

In addition to the mousse, the menu include peach berry sangria, lobster and asparagus salad, roasted tomato and sweet pepper quesadilla, and Thai barbecue chicken and orange broccoli stir-fry.

"It's awesome being here, fraternizing with the people and seeing what they are going through and having a good time with true Steelers fans," said Carter. "It's exciting. I am learning a little something. There is some good stuff I am going to try when I get home. We are all having a good time."

The cooking class was very personal for Carter and Mesko, who have family members who have battled the disease. Carter's aunt, cousin and grandmother are survivors, while Mesko's mother had a scare with it, but his grandmother passed away from the disease over a year ago.

"We're here to promote a healthy diet and do the things we can to prevent this heartache from happening," said Mesko, wearing a Steelers breast cancer awareness t-shirt and hat. "At the same time we are promoting the will to fight. That's where it comes from, the effort and that is how progress is made with this disease.

"It hits home to me. It's great to see the NFL take this type of approach. To see our mother's taken care of is awesome. I like wearing the pink, wearing the emblem and what it stands for. What we do in the community with this logo it's amazing to be a part of it."

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