Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield personally watched helpless as his mother died from breast cancer just 18 months after her diagnosis in 1998. For this year's Baseball All-Star Game the former Yankee and Blue Jays player has partnered up with Ask.com and Susan G. Komen for the "Answer for a Cure" campaign to help spread awareness about a disease that will affect one out of eight women in their lifetime. ESSENCE.com: What made you partner with Ask.com and Susan G. Komen? DAVE WINFIELD:
They sought me out and asked me to be involved because they know that I have a history with breast cancer in my family. My mother passed away from it years ago. Since times were different then and they didn't know as much about it, she didn't detect it quickly enough. Even with all of the contacts and resources I had she lasted 18 months, so now is my opportunity to reach out and educate and get people involved in this campaign against breast cancer. Now I'm directing the people to the website, ask.com/forthecure. People can go on and they can learn about breast cancer. I'm going to boost the awareness about breast cancer because it affects one out of eight women at some point in their lives. ESSENCE.com: How does your family view breast cancer since your own mother died from it? WINFIELD:
Yes, very much. I make sure that my wife and daughters go for their check ups. ESSENCE.com: What message would you like to send to African-American women? WINFIELD:
Just like African-American men need to check out prostate cancer, we have to check out breast cancer for women. You're better off talking about it and going to the doctor instead of saying "ugh, I went too late" because you may not get a second chance. Go frequently! ESSENCE.com: In what way do you think men can support or encourage women with breast cancer? WINFIELD:
Men should say "Come on honey, let's do the breast cancer screen." And the wife should say, "Okay husband you check for prostate cancer." ESSENCE.com: Why was it important for you to do this around the All-Star game? WINFIELD:
My mother's last trip was to my 12th and last all-star game in Cincinnati in 1998. She couldn't leave her room but she wanted to support me and have fun. She wasn't feeling good but it was a special time for her. Being at the all-star game again this year strikes a cord and brings up a lot of memories, so it's an appropriate time for me to talk about breast cancer. Log on to Ask.com/forthecure for more information about "Answer for a Cure" and Susan G. Komen.