“Breast cancer is not just an issue that affects women, it affects families,” explained WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon as we met up in Chicago once more this past Monday to celebrate the launch of WWE’s third annual partnership with Susan G. Komen in an effort to raise funds and awareness to smackdown the terrible disease that touches millions of families each year. “My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor,” she continued, elaborating on how cancer is an issue with a very personal connection to her family, and one very concerning since she and husband Paul Levesque (Triple H) are raising three daughters of their own. As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month continues, WWE has “gone pink,” and on the October 6 installment of Monday Night Raw on USA, there will be a few special guests…
Hoda Kotb (a seven-year breast cancer survivor) and Kathie Lee Gifford, fourth hour hosts of NBC’s TODAY Show, will join the Raw crew as guest stars. Before Kotb and Gifford rule the ring, WWE Superstar John Cena will make a guest appearance on the TODAY show in the iconic fourth hour segment to give them a pep talk to prepare for the show.
Additionally, journalist, Joan Lunden, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, will sit ringside as a special guest along with other breast cancer survivors. As TODAY’s special #PinkPower correspondent for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Lunden is celebrating survivors, supporting those currently battling cancer and remembering those we have lost. Lunden was also featured on the cover of last week’s People Magazine talking about her personal fight against breast cancer.
WWE is thrilled to have Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb and Joan Lunden join Monday Night Raw to help shine a light on the battle against breast cancer. These women continue to be a voice for the millions that are affected by this devastating disease. We are honored to have their support in raising awareness and funds to continue the fight.
– Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer
At the launch event this week in Chicago, WWE played host to survivors who attended as guests of Susan G. Komen, sitting ringside for the event. The pre-show reception (See Photos at WWE.com) featured appearances by WWE Superstars and Divas,, including Brie Bella – sporting one of her Bella Twins-inspired “Support the Twins” t-shirts, currently being sold with proceeds benefitting the cause. Brie and I spoke a bit about the positive response from fans everywhere, and how social media and smartphones (technology she notes didn’t exist when her and sister Nikki began their careers) have made connecting and supporting immediate.
While the cameras are mostly off (though E! was taping for a January episode of TOTAL DIVAS), it’s interesting to see a different side of the WWE crew first-hand. Adam Rose complimenting Addie on her snowman drawing? That happened. Paige teaching little ones how to spell her name? That, too. Titus O’Neil (who guest posted for me during Father’s Day) talking with my girls about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise? Indeed. And how about Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella getting silly with my oldest future Diva? Oh, yes.
More on WWE’s partnership with Susan G. Komen:
WWE will donate to Komen 20% of the retail sales price of all co-branded merchandise sold on WWEShop.com and at WWE live events, as well as 5% of all other WWE merchandise sold on WWEShop.com. For the first time, fans will have the option of donating $1, $5 or $10 upon checkout from WWEShop.com with all proceeds benefiting Komen.
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, and funds community outreach programs, public advocacy and global programs. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. There are 3million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. For more information about Susan G. Komen, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org/wwe or call 1-877GOKOMEN.