The Broncos honored breast cancer survivors on Sunday with a pregame brunch and a halftime tribute.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – ** Orange and pink came together on Sunday as the Broncos honored breast cancer survivors as part of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Approximately 100 breast cancer survivors were honored during halftime of Sunday's game. In addition, a few individual survivors -- who were selected from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Denver Metropolitan and nominations from DenverBroncos.com and the team's season-ticket member pool -- were invited to a pregame pink champagne brunch inside Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Sandy Mangiarelli, a five-year survivor, attended the event for the fourth consecutive year. Clad in a pink Peyton Manning jersey adorned with rhinestones and a vibrant boa around her neck, Mangiarelli has been a season ticket holder for over 20 years.
She brought one of her friends to the event with her on Sunday.
"I brought my husband with me the first year but I've been bringing my girlfriends with me since then," Mangiarelli said. "We always have fun and love getting on the field, love the Broncos for doing this. I look forward to it every year."
She got emotional talking about her experience with cancer, but described the support she received from family and friends during her treatments as "incredible."
View photos from during the Broncos' home game against the Cardinals.
Each time she comes to this event, she sees a familiar face.
"There's one gal that I've seen here for like three years," Mangiarelli said. "We always say hello and high five. It's wonderful. I don't know what other organizations do, but this is really special. They do a fabulous job."
Rosalba Castillo was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in November of 2013 when she was four months pregnant. After surgery, chemo and radiation, she was declared cancer-free last month, about six months after giving birth. She celebrated her triumph on Sunday with her 13-year-old son, Omar.
"We've been excited since we woke up this morning," Castillo said on Sunday. "I think it's just a wonderful experience just to be on the field. I can't imagine how it's going to be later on in the day, we're all excited already."
Team CEO/President Joe Ellis spoke to the survivors and their guests during the brunch and said celebrating the survivors every year is "always one of our favorite days in Broncos Country."
During the game, pink was everywhere. Game balls with pink ribbons were used along with pink kicking tees. Players used pink equipment, including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline hats, helmet decals, captains' patches, chin cups, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels.
"The event was a great success," said Broncos Director of Community Development Kelly Woodward. "The most special aspect of the day is the camaraderie that is built and the friendships that are built beyond that day. Most of the women report back to us that those things were the most special part of that day, making new friends and feeling like a part of a larger group of women that are going through something similar."