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How Tanya Snyder Partnered with the NFL to Fight Breast Cancer

By Michael M. Clements | October 17, 2018 | People

Two decades ago Tanya Snyder partnered with the NFL to tackle breast cancer.

tanya-snyder.jpgNow in its 20th year, under Tanya Snyder’s leadership, Think Pink! volunteers have passed out 8.5 million ribbons to NFL fans across the nation to advocate for breast cancer early detection and prevention.

“When we started we had no idea where Think Pink! would go,” says Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder and architect of the breast cancer awareness program that washes the NFL with rosy ribbons each October. “We just kept doing events, connecting with fans, and the next thing we knew, 19 years had passed and 8.5 million ribbons were handed out to fans across all 32 NFL clubs.”

She says the initiative started when the sorority ZTA came to the Redskins. “We gave them the platform and embraced the work on behalf of our fans and our community. It was one of the first community events we participated in during Dan’s first season of ownership,” she recalls.

The ultimate goal is to find a cure, but until then she says early detection and education on breast self-exams are critical. “We will keep up the work to use our wonderful platform to remind NFL fans how important this is,” she tells Capitol File. The program is not only working, it’s become as much a part of the October ritual of football as touchdown dances and tailgating.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a national spokesperson,” she says, adding, “In all my travels around the world people will stop me and ask me about our work. I see pink ribbons all over, and they present them to me from different places. I know in my heart we have made a difference, on behalf of the entire NFL, to help survivorship.”

What is in store for Think Pink!? “We have the potential through social media to touch millions more in this year’s 20th anniversary campaign. We are more motivated now than ever to get individuals talking about breast cancer and creating awareness for the power of early detection in its ability to save lives.”

In the meantime, we’ll be on the lookout for our best pink-inspired Redskins gear.