BOSTON (January 10, 2014) – Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced today that it has partnered with the HEADstrong Foundation to help raise awareness about blood cancers to the extended lacrosse community and its fans.
“We are thrilled to partner with the HEADstrong in 2014,” said MLL Commissioner David Gross. “The organization has always been a strong supporter of the MLL and its players and we hope that “Burn Cancer” awareness week and our other initiatives will help raise awareness for all forms of blood cancer.”
Highlighting the partnership is the first ever “Burn Cancer” awareness week, designed to draw attention to the fight against all forms of blood cancer. “Burn Cancer” week will be held July 31 – August 2 and feature games from all eight MLL teams. Throughout the action-packed week, MLL coaches will sport lime green shirts and select players will wear Warrior Lacrosse equipment specifically designed with HEADstrong elements, raising awareness and representing the patients, survivors, and victims of the disease. Lime green is not only the National Awareness Color indicating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but also the adopted color of HEADstrong, which Nick Colleluori, founder of HEADstrong, believed was meant to invigorate and enliven those who wore it.
The partnership will also recognize members of the MLL who distinguish themselves in their community outreach with the HEADstrong Humanitarian of the Month award. Starting in February a player particularly active in their community will be awarded and featured on both MLL’s and HEADstrong’s website each month to help celebrate compassionate efforts and further raise awareness for the foundation.
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation and all of those who have been affected by blood cancers, we wish to extend our sincere appreciation to Major League Lacrosse for embracing our cause through the “Burn Cancer” awareness week partnership beginning this season,” said Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong president and Nick’s Mom. “The sport of lacrosse has served our organization as an arm of support, encouraging us to take HEADstrong to new heights. Humbly, we have emerged as a national resource, facing-off against the disease and assisting blood cancer patients and their families. We are committed to HEADing efforts to improve their quality of life and supporting those working to eliminate the diseases.”
Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori founded the HEADstrong Foundation shortly after being diagnosed in 2005, and his legacy continues to live on through the organization’s work. The foundation strives to provide those working to eliminate blood cancers with any necessary materials that may help to improve the quality of life for those affected by the disease. HEADstrong aids the battle to defeat blood cancer through fundraising, raising awareness, scholarship, and education. Through this joint partnership, MLL hopes to meaningfully contribute to their efforts.
“Since our inception in 2006, the HEADstrong Foundation has established an awareness campaign using the color lime green – which is the awareness color representing non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the disease that claimed our Nick’s life,” Colleluori continued. “The visibility and representation of HEADstrong on the playing field during MLL’s Burn Cancer Awareness Week, is a tribute to the life and legacy of our founder Nicholas as well as a statement of hope and strength in support all of those living with cancer. We graciously applaud Major League Lacrosse for taking a stance and helping HEADstrong to get aHEAD of cancer.”