Columbia, S.C. – Former Major League Baseball All Star and colon cancer survivor Eric Davis will help BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the Greenville Drive baseball team promote colon cancer awareness and screenings during the Drive’s June 13 home game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Davis, who starred with the Cincinnati Reds and five other teams during a 17-year Major League career that included the 1990 World Series championship, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the 4 p.m. game at Greenville’s Fluor Field. Davis has donated several items for a silent auction to be held during the game to benefit cancer research, and he will speak to fans about his battle with cancer and the importance of screenings and early detection.
Davis, now 48, saw his baseball career interrupted in 1997, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Davis received treatment for the disease and returned to baseball. His Eric Davis Foundation is dedicated to colon cancer research and education.
“I was blessed to have my colon cancer detected early, and that's why I am a survivor today,” Davis said. “It’s my duty to make everyone aware that early detection saves lives.”
Dr. Laura Long, BlueCross’ vice president of clinical quality and health management, said, “Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, but many of these deaths can be prevented through screenings and early detection. Everyone should be screened at age 50, and those with a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors should be screened even earlier.”
The Drive Out Colon Cancer event is part of a long-term strategic relationship BlueCross and the Greenville Drive have established to accomplish shared community relations objectives and to promote healthy lifestyles in the Upstate. The game also is part of the “Covered in Blue” colon cancer awareness campaign sponsored by BlueCross, the S.C. Gastroenterology Association, and the Center for Colon Cancer Research at the University of South Carolina. BlueCross provides coverage of preventive colonoscopies in all of its fully insured policies.
The Gastroenterology Association will distribute information about colon cancer to fans attending the game, and some of its member physicians will be available to answer questions about prevention, screening and treatment. The Drive will don special blue jerseys, and the blue bases used for the game will be auctioned off.
Craig Brown, president and co-owner of the Greenville Drive, said, “The Drive is pleased to work with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina on this family oriented event at Fluor Field, targeted to increase the awareness and prevention of colon cancer. We are delighted to have established a long-term relationship with BlueCross and look forward to working with them on additional initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for our shared constituents across the Upstate.”