Our Story

The transcendent power of sport is often personified by athletes and their public battles against cancer. These inspiring stories show how teamwork, physical exercise and mental strength are at the core of an athlete’s success in competition and throughout their personal journey with cancer.

While most of the general public understands the role of exercise in chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes, few know how it factors into the cancer experience. There is strong scientific evidence that demonstrates physical activity reduces the risk of at least seven types of cancer, and studies show several benefits during treatment and into survivorship, including health-related quality of life.

Influenced by his love for sports and inspired by his patients, Dr. Christopher Terry started to recruit the Dream Team of athletes who faced cancer. Football stars Mark Herzlich and Joshua Paschal, along with Olympian Kikkan Randall and Chaunte Lowe, responded with enthusiasm. They encouraged Chris to create a platform to empower others to use their experiences as athletes during their cancer experience.

As the team continued to grow and the vision became more refined, the team officially became known as Athletes Fighting Cancer, whose mission is to use the power of sport to fight cancer. Although this group may seem exclusive to highly-competitive athletes – AFC believes you are an athlete if you activate your mind and body. Our organization wants to help everyone find their inner athlete and utilize teamwork, mental strength, and physical activity to improve their journey with cancer.

“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So, live… fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Stuart Scott – July 16, 2014



Athletes Fighting Cancer understands that every individual faces different challenges that lead to a unique, personal cancer experience. Consequently, language suggesting cancer is a “fight or battle” that produces “survivors and thrivers” can be triggering. AFC recognizes that fighting does not always mean aggressive treatment or extreme physical exertion. Meditation, yoga, and running require a form of athleticism, and our team is here for all levels. Learn more about how delicate language can be through this article written by Eliza Berman for Slate: The Most Moving Thing About Stuart Scott’s Speech at the ESPYs


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