Each October, the Washington Redskins promote breast cancer awareness through their Think Pink campaign, which Tanya Snyder, herself a breast cancer survivor, helped launch 21 years ago. There was the Think Pink game against the New England Patriots on Oct. 6, and two days later the Redskins hosted the 12th Annual All-Star Survivors Celebration at the team facility.
Wide receiver Paul Richardson has assisted with these types of initiatives since coming to Washington in 2018, but he also has a personal connection to breast cancer, which affects one in eight U.S. women over the course of their lifetime. His grandmother, Mable Dyer, endured two bouts with breast cancer. She's currently battling lung cancer, which prevents her from leaving her home in Los Angeles.
While Richardson has honored his grandma in several different ways throughout his career -- from cleats and towels to gloves -- his admiration for her is not limited to just one game or month each year. He aims to support her each and every day in any way he can.
"She's definitely the strongest person in my life," Richardson said. "To see her battle with breast cancer -- to get one of her breasts removed and then to get the other breast removed – and overcome that. Now having lung cancer, she can't walk, and just the different things she's gone through just makes me appreciate life more and makes me appreciate her more."
Richardson said seeing his grandma fight through this trauma has been especially hard considering his entire family typically leans on her for strength and support.
She's still strong and lively, Richardson maintained, but her battle has been and will continue to be difficult. As of now, she has to be hooked up to a breathing machine almost all the time and cannot travel. Richardson last saw her before the Redskins' training camp in July.
Fortunately, Richardson has had the financial means to support his grandma from afar. Not everyone can handle medical expenses for multiple battles with cancer, but playing in the NFL has given Richardson the opportunity to do so. He's been able to finance different medical treatments, therapies, appliances and anything else she needs to function on a daily basis.
Currently, he and his family are in the process of getting a custom-made scooter or wheelchair to increase her mobility. It's the latest way the Richardson family is trying to help one of their loved ones.
"We're not all fortunate enough for different insurances and all of that medical stuff. They can only cover so much, especially depending on what you qualify for," Richardson said. "God put me in a position to where I qualify for all of that and I can afford to do it and I can afford to prolong her time with us. I enjoy that."