Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals is lending his celebrity to bring awareness to breast cancer. His mother passed away from the disease in 2003. Fitzgerald feels that early detection is important.

“My mom didn’t learn about breast cancer until late in the stage, and so we were a little behind the 8-ball. So by raising awareness and getting people tested and giving them information early in the process, we can definitely save a lot of lives,” Fitzgerald said.

The Pro-Bowl player has partnered with Cold Stone Creamery to promote Larry Fitzgerald signature gift cards throughout the 2009 football season, which also coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. Five percent of the value of each card purchased will be dedicated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

In 2009, almost 200,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Black women have a 40 percent higher death rate from breast cancer than white women, according to the American Cancer Society. Deaths from breast cancer have dropped more than 2 percent each year since 1990 in part because of outreach efforts.