The association is participating in the Call to Arms event for the Cancer Council this weekend.

The Call to Arms has been an annual event since 2006, after Essendon Football Club champion Adam Ramanauskas was diagnosed with cancer, his teammates wore yellow armbands in the Clash For Cancer against Melbourne Football Club. Without knowing it at the time, this became the first ever Call To Arms game. Since then, sporting clubs of all codes and levels have joined the cause by wearing yellow in one game each season.

As a result of this event we encourage all teams to get involved throughout this weekends games. There will be donation boxes in the Stadium as well as being sent around at this weekends SEABL and D-League games.

There’s no doubt that cancer is a tough opponent – about as tough as they come actually. But like all tough opponents, it can be beaten. It will require teamwork, effort and dedication. And that’s what Call To Arms is all about.

One in three cancers are preventable. That’s a fact. So we should all be doing whatever it takes to stay on top of our game and take the advantage away from cancer.

Parramatta Eels front-rower Tim Mannah knows from experience. His brother Jon, who props for the Cronulla Sharks, was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. It was caught early, and Jon has responded well to treatment. But here’s the thing – he had no idea that he had it. It was only a visit to the doctor, courtesy of an unrelated illness, that picked it up. Tim says :

"Cancer isn’t a myth. Especially now I realise how common it is, and how important it is to go to the doctor, and it can actually save your life if you do."

"People should get involved in Call To Arms because it saves lives. The more people that get involved, the more awareness will be raised and the more lives will be saved. It’s a big deal, people should jump on board."

Never a truer word spoken, Tim.

Research, earlier diagnosis and new treatments give us all hope in the fight against cancer.

But none of that matters if men don’t take themselves to the doctor for a regular check-up and some advice about cancer risks and preventions. We’re a team – we all have to play our part.

That’s what Call To Arms is all about.

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