The Worcester Bravehearts are proud to announce a partnership with DetectTogether (formerly the 15-40 Connection). DetecTogether is a national education and advocacy organization, based in Westborough, that is saving lives by teaching people how to detect cancer early and how to be active partners in their healthcare. They focus significant resources teaching 3 Steps Detect to firefighters.
In a game on July 24, the Bravehearts will wear special firefighter jerseys which will then be auctioned off with the proceeds going to DetectTogether. The Bravehearts and DetecTogether chose a firefighter theme to bring awareness to the increased risk of cancer faced by firefighters across the country. According to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), cancer caused 61% of career firefighter line-of-duty deaths between 2002 and 2016. Firefighters have a 9% higher risk of developing cancer and a 14% greater risk of dying from cancer.
"DetecTogether teaches firefighters how to identify early cancer symptoms and when and how to collaborate with their doctors for best health outcomes," says DetecTogether President & Executive Director Tricia Laursen. "Cancer in firefighters is often detected late. When detected early, the survival rate for cancer is much greater. Teaching firefighters, whose occupation puts them at greater risk, how to detect cancer early, is critical to improving their survival rates."
DetecTogether recently delivered its 3 Steps Detect education to 400 Worcester firefighters.
“With the increased risk of a cancer diagnosis, it is imperative that firefighters have the knowledge and tools to protect themselves,” says Worcester Fire Chief Michael J. Lavoie. “I am very grateful that DetecTogether partnered with our department to help build our members’ awareness of the risk and give them strategies to not only prevent cancer but to detect it early before it is too late.”
The Bravehearts have a personal connection to this cause as well. Bravehearts pitcher Evan Moore, a current student at Boston College who played on the 2019 Bravehearts championship team, was diagnosed with testicular cancer late in 2020. Evan was able to detect his cancer at an early stage, and in January of 2021 he was declared cancer free and is working his way back to the BC Eagles baseball team.
“Early cancer detection is extremely important because many times, it impacts the staging and treatment that follows,” said Moore. “DetecTogether does a phenomenal job of bringing the matter of early detection to the forefront of conversations and helps numerous people with their own diagnoses, including myself.”
Evan was not the only member of the Central Massachusetts baseball community affected by cancer. Worcester Academy’s Asa Floyd, who shared the same field as Evan many times throughout their lives, was also diagnosed with testicular cancer in the summer of 2017. Only a few months before Asa noticed a lump that ended up being cancer, DetecTogether visited his high school with their 3 Steps Detect education. Because of the knowledge he gained from that presentation, Asa detected his cancer at an early stage and beat it. As the two players shared a similar experience, Asa helped Evan through his cancer treatment in 2020 and they are now both dedicated to the mission of DetecTogether, helping others like them find early warning signs of cancer.
The July 24th jersey auction night will be sponsored by Carr Financial Group. Richard Carr, president of Carr Financial Group and graduate of Holy Cross, is a two-time cancer survivor who has worked very closely with DetecTogether.
“When I think about people coming together to raise money for something that ultimately saved my life, I am humbled by it,” said Carr, who is now married with two children. “It is the efforts made today by researchers, doctors and, most importantly, fundraisers that will give generations in the future a chance to eradicate cancer.”
Tickets for DetecTogether Night — which will include $5 tickets for firefighters, first responders and their families — on July 24 at 6:30 PM vs the Westfield Starfires are now on sale by calling 508-438-3773. First responders can apply the promotion code "DetecTogether" to receive $5 tickets.