On September 28th at 2:00 p.m. CT, the Vanderbilt soccer team will face off against Southeastern Conference foe Auburn. Both Vanderbilt and Auburn are participants in Under Armour’s “Power in Pink”, a program benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and other notable breast cancer organizations.
For sophomore defender Taylour Claxton and freshman midfielder Emily Grant, this game means just a little bit more. Both Claxton and Grant’s mothers are breast cancer survivors.
Grant was still a senior in high school when her mother was diagnosed. Emily realized that soccer is quite simply “just soccer”. When a family member’s life is in danger, it’s just a game. Rose Grant, Emily’s mother, is currently in remission and believes that Taylour and Emily’s participation in the game really speaks to their determination and personalities.
“Emily overcame a lot while I was going through treatment and I think it helped her understand what women go through,” said Mrs. Grant. “It really spoke to her ability to overcome obstacles and look at the positive. At the end of the day, it says a lot that she is willing to get out there and continue play the game of soccer. Both girls are so driven and focused. They have such different personalities, but they both went through the same thing and I think that has helped them each tremendously.”
Claxton’s mother, Leigh, has battled the disease twice: once when Taylour was 14 and again when she was 17.
“It (the initial diagnosis) was shocking at first,” said Taylour. “We thought she was in remission and she got sick again in my senior year of high school.”
Leigh is now also in remission and notes, “I think it’s great that they (Vanderbilt soccer team) are making everyone aware. I know it’s hard for Taylour and Emily, having been through it and now being spotlighted, but it not only brings awareness to breast cancer, but it also creates a great support network at Vanderbilt for them. Breast cancer is a hard topic to talk about, so many people probably don’t know that Taylour and Emily have been through this (having mothers as breast cancer survivors), and so I think this game is a win for everyone.”
If there was one thing the girls want fans throughout Commodore nation to know about breast cancer, it is that “there are so many people that have cancer and go through all of it,” Claxton noted. Grant echoed, “It’s not just the person who has it who is being affected. There are a lot more people who suffer. People need to be aware (of breast cancer), because there are a lot more people than you think (who are at risk).” With both families’ matriarchs carrying a clean bill of health, Taylour and Emily can focus on something simple: soccer.
Under Armour created the "Power in Pink" campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research and to educate the public on the importance of physical activity in battling the disease. Under Armour’s commitment to fighting breast cancer began in 2002 at the grassroots level through sponsorship of BreastFest – a Baltimore-based event that supports and celebrates breast cancer survivors.
In 2004, Under Armour launched the "Power in Pink" campaign, creating a new line of pink performance products available only during the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). Under Armour actively donates to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Casting for Recovery, The American Breast Cancer Foundation, and a variety of other smaller organizations focused on survivors and those fighting the disease.