Football - Mon, Oct. 19, 2009
CHICAGO - For most football teams, the day after a game is set aside for healing all the bumps, bruises and soreness that accumulate due to the tough nature of the sport. For Saint Xavier University, however, this past Sunday had a different purpose as the entire Cougar squad met in downtown Chicago to take part in the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk, a five-mile noncompetitive event hosted by the American Cancer Society to help raise money for breast cancer research and awareness programs. This year, "Strides" celebrates its 10th anniversary in Illinois, and has raised more than $8.4 million to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.

"With the big season that this team has had thus far (8-0 start), it amazed me when our guys came to me and asked if they would like to participate in this walk as a group," said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. "It is a such a worthwhile cause and everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, especially breast cancer, so I was very impressed with their initiative."

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer participants are asked to collect donations and pledges for the event. Since 1993, five million walkers across the United States have raised more than $340 million to help fight breast cancer through Making Strides events. In 2008, nearly 600,000 participants in more than 142 cities raised more than $50 million to help fight this disease. This year's events in Illinois are expected to raise $2.4 million.

On any given day in Illinois, 24 people discover they have breast cancer. "Strides" helps fund programs to help the newly-diagnosed, including the Society's Patient Navigation Services, designed to fill a critical void in health care and social services by acting as a full-service navigator to anyone touched by cancer.