By Mark Eckel, Player Engagement Insider
Beau Allen laughs that maybe his mother, Susie Allen, should get Eagles season tickets.
The past two years the Eagles and Allen honored his mother, along with other breast cancer survivors, before one of their home games.
In 2016 it was against the Minnesota Vikings. Allen, usually the team’s No. 3 defensive tackle, started that day for an injured Bennie Logan and the Eagles defense dominated the Vikings in a 21-10 win.
This season it was against the Arizona Cardinals. Allen again started, this time for an injured Fletcher Cox, and the Eagles defense dominated the Cardinals, in a 34-7 win.
“Funny how that works out,’’ Allen said. “We might have to get her here more often.’’
There’s nothing funny about what Susie and several other women have gone through as they battled breast cancer.
Beau was 12 years old when his mother, a registered nurse, diagnosed herself and got the help she needed to win her battle. Other women did not.
The Eagles’ big defensive lineman out of the University of Wisconsin is involved with several different Breast Cancer Awareness groups. He’s spoken and done events for Family Lives On; Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Bring Hope Home, and Women Beyond Breast Cancer.
This season from weeks four through eight, Allen has donated money to the American Cancer Society for every tackle an Eagles defensive lineman makes in those four games. Fans can donate along with him by going to https://pledgeit.org/beau-allen.
“Definitely,’’ Allen said when asked about how he does more for breast cancer awareness every year. “It’s just kind of the way it happened. Once you get involved you do more and more. We have a great community staff here (with the Eagles). For breast cancer, early detection is the key and I’ve been pushing that with different outlets. So far, it’s been a real positive thing.’’
Allen, who has become well known in the Philadelphia area for his flowing blonde hair, has used that as well in his fight for awareness as well.
This year once again he braided his hair and wore a pink bow in support of breast cancer awareness.
“It’s kind of a silly thing, but it’s big to me,’’ he said. “And the amount of people who hit me up on social media and said their wife is battling and saw that and it made them smile, you appreciate it. That’s why I do it. It’s kind of light-hearted, seeing a big dude with a pink bow in his hair, but if it gives someone going through chemo a smile, it’s worth it.’’
Allen and his family all shaved their hair when Susie was diagnosed back in 2003 to show their support.
“People ask me about my hair,’’ Allen said. “I started growing my hair this way — I’m going to donate it one day — but it’s just to remember all we went through.’’
Allen, growing up as a young man in Minnesota, watched his mother grow sicker and sicker, go through a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy. It was difficult to take.
“She started to look sick, lost a lot of weight, lost her hair,’’ Allen said. “I remember her getting us all together to take a family photo before she lost her hair. She wanted that one last family photo.
“But what I remember most is her hiding from us how sick she really was. When you’re at that age, your parents are invincible. Your dad can beat you in any sport and your mom can cook any dinner or do most anything. So, it was hard to see her like that.
“Then all of a sudden, she started coming around and feeling better, and that was the best part.’’
Now, Allen wants to help others and not just by having his mother and grandmother on the field holding the flag before the game.
“That was a cool moment,’’ he said. “I went up and gave both of them a big hug before the game.’’
Raising awareness, however, is Allen’s goal.
“My mom says all the time, ‘Beau it’s probably embarrassing for you to talk about you mom’s breasts.’ But if it helps saves one person, or influences one person to get tested it’s worth it,’’ he said. “If you can just help out a kid, or a mom, or a family, that’s what I want to do. I want to spread awareness through whatever means we have.
“And the platform we have to send a message is huge. We can create some positive change. Even if I wasn’t in the NFL, I’d still be involved, but being in the NFL and having this platform makes it easier.’’