Breast cancer is a very personal battle that many families choose to fight privately.
For Gloria Carrasco, though, the fight was one that she chose to take public when her son, Sounders FC midfielder Servando Carrasco, had an opportunity to use his standing in the Seattle community to raise awareness for the illness that strikes over 200,000 new victims in America every year.
Because of their efforts, Servando Carrasco was named MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month for October as Major League Soccer kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month.
He was excited to begin working with the Susan G. Komen foundation last year during his rookie season, but wanted to get approval from his mother before he brought attention to her fight.
“I’m doing this because of her. She said we have a responsibility to share her story,” said Carrasco. “If it can prevent that from happening to another family, then that’s our goal.”
Carrasco has been involved in the Sounders FC’s Hispanic outreach since joining the club in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
He has also appeared at several of the club’s summer camps and has worked regularly in the United We Serve program.
However, his greatest passion has come in his work with Susan G. Komen because of that close connection to his family. Gloria Carrasco was given a clean bill of health after her five-year checkup in November and the mother and son have since taken to telling her tale and raising awareness.
“It’s a very tough and emotional process and I admire her for everything that she’s gone through and it’s a tribute to her that she’s willing to share that story,” he said. “She’s been courageous this whole time and it’s very admirable.”
Their work was most prominent when Carrasco was the honorary captain of the Por La Mujer Hispana team at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in June and was also the starter, alongside his mother, for the event. With the help of Carrasco’s 82-member team that raised over $6,300, a total surpassing $1.1 million was raised at the 2012 event in Seattle.
“It was an amazing event. The day that we participated in the walk was a beautiful moment,” said the 24-year-old midfielder. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate those who have won the battle with breast cancer and at the same time honor those who haven’t. It’s also a way to raise awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research.”
Carrasco is the fifth different Sounders player to earn Humanitarian of the Month honors, the most of any team in MLS since they started presenting the award in 2010. He joins James Riley, Sanna Nyassi, Fredy Montero and Roger Levesque and he credits Sounders FC director of community outreach Sandy Gregory for helping the team have the opportunity to contribute to the Seattle community.
“To be honest, I think it’s a reflection of the organization. I think Sandy does an amazing job of presenting the team with opportunities to give back to the community. I think we have a responsibility to do that,” Carrasco said. “The recognition is a reflection of what they do and giving us the opportunity to give back and the guys have always been good about taking advantage of those opportunities.”
Carrasco is in his second year with the Sounders FC after a standout career at the University of California-Berkley. He has nine MLS appearances this year and also made four other appearances in the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.
For more information on Susan G. Komen, visit www.komenpugetsound.org.