03/28/2011 12:09 am ET | Updated May 27, 2011

Bradie James, NFL Player, Tackles Breast Cancer In Honor Of His Mother

NFL player Bradie James is honoring his mother's legacy by helping women with breast cancer.

The Dallas Cowboys linebacker lost his mother to the disease in 2001, CBS News reports.

When both of his parents fell ill, the family wasn't able to afford both medical bills. Bradie James' mother Etta sacrificed her treatment so that her husband could get treated for his kidney disease.

Bradie told CBS:

"She chose to put herself on the back burner so everyone else could live," James said. "I guess that's the way she felt she could live -- live vicariously through everyone else."

Now, James' nonprofit, Foundation 56, brings free mammograms and other support to women. Mobile mammogram centers bring uninsured and low-income women health care they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.

According to the foundation's website:

"I want to serve as a voice to encourage men -- husbands, fathers, brothers and other men -- to send a message to women," James said. That message, he said, is "a message of hope, of strength and a message of life, a message that breast cancer doesn't just affect women, it affects the entire family."


Fans of James' charity work can support his efforts by making a donation to Foundation 56.