World Cancer Day

Super Bowl player donates to help fund cancer research

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(bet_noire/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(bet_noire/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags Cancer Research diversity Patient centricity Oncology

William Gholston, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team, is donating to the Moffitt Cancer Center to fund research into cancer treatment disparities.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston has donated $225,000 to the Moffit Cancer Center. The gift, made during Black History Month, is intended to help fund discoveries in breast, colon, and prostate cancers, all of which disproportionately affect Black men and women.

Gholston's donation is going to the center’s George Edgecomb Society, specifically dedicated eliminating cancer health disparities in communities of color. The society is named in the honor of center namesake H. Lee Moffitt's close friend, Black legal pioneer Judge George Edgecomb, who died of leukemia in 1976.

Gholston said he is pleased at the opportunity to help the Black community, and to honor his family.

My father and uncle both died battling cancer, and my mother has won her battle with cancer multiple time​s,” he said. “This battle is hard. The fight is hard, and any amount of research or help is huge in my eyes​."

Gholston’s father succumbed to lung cancer, and his uncle to prostate cancer. His mother, a breast cancer survivor, has volunteered at Moffitt for the last several years, participating in the center's Healthy KIDZ events.

I hope this donation helps others who are fighting or may have to fight down the line​,” Gholston added. “You can never get the time back, but with this effort we may be able to add more time for others​.”

Gholston has decided to direct his donation specifically to help with research into breast cancer in honor of his mother, and colon and prostate cancers because of their outsized impact in Black communities. African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with colon and prostate cancer than any other ethnic group in the US.

We thank William and his family for their continued support of Moffitt; this donation carries great thoughtfulness and intent, and will help fund critical research​," said Patrick Hwu, CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center.

Gholston and the Buccaneers will host the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, the championship game of the US's National Football League, at their home stadium in Tampa on Sunday, February 7.

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