More than 100 ESPN employees, most donned in pink, turned out for “Cancer: Coping and Support,” a luncheon discussion featuring Mike and Stacy Greenberg on Wednesday afternoon on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus. The couple shared the heartfelt, personal story of their close friend Heidi Armitage’s battle with breast cancer and the inspiration that led to Mike’s best-selling novel All You Could Ask For.
“It wasn’t the most cheerful hour, and there isn’t a happy ending, but it was great to share this side of the story,” said the Mike & Mike co-host. “Everything we talked about, the basis of my novel – Stacy lived that [as Heidi’s supporter]. She provided the insight.”
ESPN Women and the ESPN Wellness team coordinated the event as part of their P.U.S.H. Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month programming. P.U.S.H. stands for Power, Unity, Strength, Hope – all important qualities when faced with the terrible illness.
“I’ve got a wife, a mom, and a daughter,” said Senior Coordinating Producer Gerry Matalon. “Why wouldn’t I come to this event? It’s not often you have a truly human, substantive moment in your day, like we did today.”
Wednesday’s luncheon came on the heels of the Greenbergs’ announcement that they will donate $100,000 to The V Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of their late friend with monies raised from 100 percent the author’s proceeds going toward the donation.
“ESPN and espnW have been truly supportive through this entire endeavor,” Stacy said. “It really does take a village.”
The discussion began with the couple recounting fond memories of meeting Heidi, traveling together, and ultimately helping her through the battle for her life.
“We all feel truly empowered by [Mike and Stacy’s] passion in caring for a loved one and making her journey peaceful through [their] devoted support,” said Lisa Woodis, Director Production Financial Services and Finance Chair of the ESPN Women Employee Resource Group.
“The event was better than I could have imagined,” said Wellness Coordinator Cynthia Villalobos. “Each year, it’s our goal to get new faces in the room and reach more people to raise awareness. This was the perfect way to do that.”