CINCINNATI -- Breast cancer has had a very real impact on Carlos Dunlap's life.
The Cincinnati Bengals defensive end has lost a great aunt as well as the mother of his best friend to the disease.
With such a first-hand understanding of the day-to-day challenges that breast cancer sufferers go through, Dunlap decided part of his foundation's mission ought to hinge on making life, even for one night, comfortable for those who have been through their respective battles with the disease, and those who continue to fight.
So Wednesday evening, Dunlap and a few teammates will be hosting a "Spa Day" at a local salon for a group of breast cancer survivors and those currently undergoing treatment. It's the second time he has held such an event. Facials, pedicures and massages are on the menu for those attending. Dunlap admitted that even he would be getting a pedicure right along side them.
"I want to give back to these women and celebrate their lives by giving them a time where they can relax, have fun, and get to know other cancer survivors like themselves," Dunlap said. "They are a true reminder of what real strength is."
The event coincides with October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like other teams around the NFL, the Bengals on Sunday will be recognizing people who have been through breast cancer, those who are going through it, and those who have served as a caregiver for a breast cancer sufferer. Players will wear pink trimmings on their uniform accessories, women attending the game will receive pink scarves at the entrance gates, and pink ribbons will be handed out to any person who wants them by members of the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha.
If there was ever a year for the Bengals to recognize those who have been through the disease, this is it.
Breast cancer has hit the Cincinnati Bengals hard recently.
In April, Christine Zampese, the wife of Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese was diagnosed with the disease. Around the same time, Mary Jane Combs, the wife of assistant public relations director P.J. Combs, received her own diagnosis. Both women remain in the middle of their respective fights.
"I don't want sympathy," Christine Zampese told Bengals.com. "This is life. And my life is family and football."