FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Over this past week, the Falcons held one event each day for their Cancer Awareness Week, beginning with their home game against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 15 and ending with the Breast Cancer Awareness Game between Brookwood and Parkview high schools on Friday, Oct. 20.
Ranging from a dinner with the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research where Falcons players acted as celebrity servers to night shift deliveries for nurses and doctors to show appreciation for their constant vigilance, these Cancer Awareness Week events provided an opportunity to raise awareness and give back to those who lead the way in the fight against cancer.
There are 16 players on the Falcons' roster who have had someone in their family impacted by cancer, including punter Matt Bosher.
"My mom is a breast cancer survivor (of) 25 years, this year," Bosher said. "So, obviously, that makes it strike home with me. It touches many families: Moms, daughters, grandmas, whomever. So, if you can get out and try to bring awareness to a cause that touches so many people, it's the right thing to do."
Bosher was one of the many players who attended an event this week to show support for those who are battling or have defeated cancer. To him, however, this isn't just a mandatory activity he has to do as a member of the team; Bosher truly enjoys impacting the lives of others in such a joyful way.
"(On Tuesday) the Falcons had their annual Dazzle and Dine event, and that's something that I've been a part of every year except for my rookie year, since I've been here," Bosher said. "I never miss it. My mom flies up for it most years. It's nice, always a fun event. The past couple of years, we've been at Katana; it's a great time. The ladies get to get pampered all day, go do a spa day, do a whole makeover-type deal. And then they come in and we cook dinner for them – or try to – on the hibachis and try to not hurt ourselves or anybody else around us when we're wielding the utensils."
For the Dazzle and Dine event, 10 honorees who are currently undergoing treatment for or have survived breast cancer received a $500 grant in their name for a breast cancer organization of their choice. They were then recognized before the Falcons game against the Dolphins and pampered at Jamison Shaw Hairdressers on Tuesday afternoon before being chauffeured to Katana Teppanyaki & Sushi where the players made them dinner.
While the women spent the day relaxing, Bosher and his teammates had a bit more stress in their lives while cooking dinner on the hibachi grill.
"It's a lot harder than it looks," he said. "Trying to swirl the spatulas around. Broke a lot of eggs last night. Made a couple of good volcanoes, but that was about it. I definitely don't have a second career as a hibachi chef."
Throughout the week, players went across the city of Atlanta to give back and raise cancer awareness and support the fight against the disease.
Below are some of the moments from the Cancer Awareness Week:
Bosher's story is just one of many, but it's one that hits close to home for families all across the country. For one week, Falcons players did their best to show reverence to those strong enough to beat cancer, support for those who continue to fight and thanks to the incredible men and women who are assisting in that fight.
"I was really young when my mom was diagnosed; I was five years old," Bosher said. "It was one of those things where you don't necessarily know what's going on, you just know that mom's not home; mom's in the hospital; mom has to have surgery. There's a lot of stuff that goes on, It's obviously a very confusing time for a kid. And as you grow up, I didn't know to the extent how bad it was until years later. Actually, it was the first time I did the Dazzle and Dine event, my mom kind of broke down the whole story for me and told me what happened. It's one of those things that's really eye-opening, you know? When you don't know what's going on, you don't have any real understanding until you're older and you hear what really happened. It really kind of opens your eyes to it. "My mom's a super-loving person. I'm an only child, so I always had her full attention. Strong woman. She obviously fought through breast cancer. My dad worked a lot, so she kind of had to deal with me and I wasn't easy when I was a kid. I appreciate everything she did. Obviously, super appreciative of the fact that she's still here with me and was able to raise me. It would have been tough losing mom at five. Especially a mom like her, she's unbelievable."