ORLANDO, Fla. (WTOC) - The Cure Bowl isn’t just a football game, it also raises money for breast cancer research.
That fight hits home for several Georgia Southern football players.
When Rashad Byrd plays, his mother is always his biggest fan even if it may not look that way.
"I sit back and worry and wring my hands. Do a lot of praying,” Carolyn Byrd said.
For Carolyn Byrd, praying is just what works. Rashad learned that watching her fight her toughest battle: breast cancer.
"The first night she told me, it was rough. I cried all night,” Rashad said.
That was 10 years ago, when Byrd was 11. And as Carolyn tells it, Rashad took on his mother's fight in symbolic fashion.
"From then on, we just knew he loved pink. He would wear his pink headband, his pink gloves, he had pink cleats. I said Rashad! He said I'm doing it for you mom,” Carolyn said.
The prayer and the fight worked. Today, Carolyn is a survivor, working with other women going through a breast cancer battle.
Her son's advocacy hasn't stopped either this season. Byrd led the Eagles with 79 tackles wearing his signature pink head band for each and every one.
Not just in honor of his mother- but to serve as an inspiration
“Seeing that fight and seeing how much courage she had during the whole process, it made me see that you can get through anything that happens to you. No matter how bad, no matter how big,” Rashad said.
On Saturday, Carolyn will be in the stands watching her son, wringing her hands and praying.
But they admit, this game. with its message and purpose, one will be more special than most.
"We couldn't have written this script. We couldn't have written the script for this to happen."
It won't just be Byrd wearing pink on Saturday. Every Eagle will be rocking the color as Southern will trade in their traditional white helmet decals for pink.
Along with Byrd, lineman Jake Edwards and kicker Tyler Bass are Eagles with direct ties to breast cancer.