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Sept. 10, 2013

When the South Carolina hosts Vanderbilt on Sept. 14 in Williams-Brice Stadium, Gamecock coaches and players will be raising awareness that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Working with the nonprofit Curing Kids Cancer, both teams’ players will wear Coaches Curing Kids Cancer logo stickers on their helmets imprinted with the “Coaches Curing Kids Cancer” logo.

“Players Curing Kids Cancer” wristbands will be distributed to South Carolina coaches, players and staff on gameday as well.

“Our hope is that we, as coaches and players, can bring awareness to childhood cancer and help to find a cure for this dreaded disease, “said Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier. “We’re encouraging all Gamecock fans to join our team in helping to defeat Childhood Cancer.”

The game kicks off the charity’s “Blowing the Whistle on Kids Cancer!” campaign this college football season.

South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt are playing a part in promoting “Players Curing Kids Cancer” this football season.

ESPN GameDay commentator Lee Corso said, “As Chairman of Coaches Curing Kids Cancer, it’s gratifying to see all of these college football coaches and players jumping on board to raise awareness about childhood cancer. To see South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt stepping up in support of this great cause is fantastic. We all want to tackle kids’ cancer and make it a thing of the past.”

“Mr. College Football” and CBS Sports commentator Tony Barnhart, also a member of Curing Kids Cancer’s Executive Advisory Board, said: “I’m pleased that South Carolina and Vanderbilt have both agreed to help Curing Kids Cancer raise awareness about childhood cancer. It’s another example of how the college football community can be a force for good.”

Grainne Owen, founder and Executive Director of Curing Kids Cancer, said, “This is an amazing opportunity for Coaches Curing Kids Cancer to partner with the South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt coaches, players and fans to help children with cancer. We hope that all of the teams’ efforts to raise awareness of the desperate need for funding for childhood cancer research and they will inspire their fans to support them by going to our website and making a donation.” Any money raised will go toward the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital Cancer Clinic in Columbia, SC, the Curing Kids Cancer’s endowment of the Clinical Research Office at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital Cancer Center at Vanderbilt.

Clay, a 1982 University of South Carolina graduate, and Grainne Owen founded Curing Kids Cancer after their son Killian lost his battle with leukemia at the age of nine. They were told that there was a drug in the lab that might have saved his life but there was not enough money to put the drug into treatment. Now, Curing Kids Cancer raises money to help fund these cutting-edge drugs, which should replace traditional chemotherapy. Their goal is to be able to save ALL children who are diagnosed with cancer.

Their flagship fundraising program is Coaches Curing Kids Cancer, which is chaired by Lee Corso. The other main grassroots fundraising program is Players Curing Kids Cancer, chaired by Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves. The charity has already raised more than $3 million to fund research on new treatments for childhood cancer.