Duron Harmon has earned a reputation around New England as "The Closer." In big moments, in big games, he has often come up in the clutch with a pass breakup or a pick, and now, he's putting money for a cause on those big plays.
Along with 13 other NFL players, Duron is using his stats on the field to raise money for the Still Strong Foundation, which helps families impacted by pediatric cancer. The Still Strong Foundation starts with former NFL player Devon Still and his daughter, Leah, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma in 2014.
Leah is now five years cancer-free, but she and Devon are using their names and journey to raise money for kids and their families who face similar battles.
That's where Duron and players across the league come in. Throughout the 2019 season, fans can pledge a dollar amount for every Duron interception.
Duron said he and Devon have been friends for a few years, and when Devon reached out with the idea, Duron said it was a no-brainer.
"He’s always been a good guy, and obviously, his daughter's fight with cancer was everywhere. It’s really, I would say, I'm blessed to be able to know them and know the journey that they’ve been through," Duron said. "When he approached me about it, it was an easy answer. Any time I can raise awareness for any cause, I’m willing to do it."
Duron's Interceptions Against Cancer campaign isn't adding an extra pressure on him on the field, though. He said he hopes he'll come up with a few picks in 2019, but even if he doesn't, he will gladly donate to the cause anyway. Having Devon think of him
"Obviously, he feels I’m going to get a few interceptions, so that’s always good," he said with a laugh. "It's cool because it lets me know the friendship that we have is bigger than football. He reached out to me because he looks at me as a friend and as a peer who wants to help the foundation. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I have a great impact on giving back."
Devon enlisted help from his brothers across the league, including Mohamed Sanu, Donovan Smith, Tavon Austin, LeSean McCoy and more.
Though not everyone may know Leah and Devon like Duron does, he said everyone has been touched by cancer, and he hopes that some Patriots fans will be moved by that to donate what they can to the Still Strong Foundation.
"Everybody knows somebody who’s affected directly by cancer, whether it’s a mom, dad, cousin, friend, teammate, literally somebody who’s been affected. They know, I’m not going to say how it feels, but they know what it looks like," Duron said. "They know what it does to the family, what it does to the person. If you could do anything just to support the cause and raise awareness for it, I mean it’s great. You’re giving back to the community. You’re making people smile. You’re bringing awareness to it. If you got the opportunity and the resources to do it, I’m urging everybody to get on board."