Kelly Ringo, Eagles rookie, dedicates herself to raising awareness on health after mother successfully battled breast cancer, making every day Mother’s Day.

Kelly Ringo’s dream of playing in the NFL became a reality when she was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the journey to get there was not an easy one. Three years before the draft, Ringo’s mother, Tralee Hale, was diagnosed with triple-negative ductal carcinoma, a rare form of breast cancer that is affected by a rare genetic mutation in people of color. Hale was only 39 years old at the time of her diagnosis.

When Ringo became a freshman in 2020, she received a call from her mother, who was in Arizona, about 1,900 miles away. Hale had gone for a check-up before going to school and found a lump in her chest. Ringo was determined to fight alongside her mother, even though they were so far apart. She focused on doing her work to make her mother feel better and kept fighting.

Two years after Ringo’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, they both won their battles. Ringo made the game-winning interception with 54 seconds remaining and returned with a 79-yard touchdown to give Georgia its first national championship since 1980. After just one month, Hale recovered from cancer. After finishing her chemotherapy in December 2020, Hale had both breasts removed because precancerous cells were found in other breasts and lymph nodes. She had to restart her chemotherapy to destroy any other cancer cells that may have remained. After five surgeries since her initial diagnosis, Hale won the biggest battle of her life in February 2022.

Ringo and Hale launched the Ringo Family Foundation last year with a mission to eradicate triple-negative breast cancer. Ringo’s platform as an NFL player in a large media market will help her in achieving this goal. If women are encouraged to get screened for cancer, that victory will be greater for Ringo than any achievement on the football field.

When Ringo received the second, life-changing phone call that she had been drafted by the Eagles, she hid her emotions behind sunglasses. She was relieved that all the hard work had paid off but was uncertain about what was going to happen to her. However, she was motivated to continue fighting for her mother and to be an advocate for overall health. “Now it’s time to finish the story. I’ll do it for her,” Ringo said.

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