The life-size figures of Joshua Kimmich, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller and the rest of the current Bayern squad have always been a popular photo motif at the FC Bayern Museum. You look them in the eye, you draw comparisons - and once a year, all fans even get the opportunity to take their stars home. When the new team takes up residence at the museum before each season, the previous year's figures are sold off to raise funds for a good cause. This time round, a total of €16,000 was raised, which included a contribution from the club. Today, Wednesday, that sum was handed over to the Bavarian Cancer Research Center (BZKF) at the FC Bayern Museum under the motto "Doing good together".
"As FC Bayern, we want to raise awareness about the subject of cancer screening," said Herbert Hainer in his opening address. The "successful interaction" with the BZKF is therefore in everyone's interest: "Our fans are happy with the figures of their stars - and with the proceeds we can do some good together," said the FC Bayern president, who handed over the donation alongside FCB board member Andy Jung at the museum in front of an audience which included 50 invited guests, who are all committed volunteers. "Our museum not only has a historical responsibility, but also a social responsibility that arises from our understanding of ourselves," Jung emphasised, "giving the €16,000 to the BZKF is absolutely the right thing to do."
The issue of cancer also recently caught up with football. Last year, within the space of a few months, four Bundesliga players were diagnosed with a malignant tumour. Hainer cited the illnesses of Sébastien Haller (Dortmund), Timo Baumgartl (Union Berlin) and Marco Richter (Hertha BSC). This, but also the cases of Germany goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea) and former Bundesliga striker Ebbe Sand (Schalke 04) are cautionary examples of the importance of cancer screening. "Younger people in particular need to be more alert to the topic," said Hainer.
In order to raise awareness for this extremely important issue, FC Bayern brought together a high-calibre panel of experts on the occasion of the donation handover. FC Bayern team doctor Prof Dr Roland Schmidt, BZKF board member Prof Dr Martin Trepel, BZKF patient representative Prof Dr Thomas Bein, and Susanne Kagermeier, contact person for the BürgerTelefonKrebs (PublicCancerHotline), spoke with host Katrin Müller-Hohenstein about sport and nutrition, lifestyle, cancer risk, pre-existing conditions and screening, and the prospects of recovery in the case of early diagnosis.
"Screening and early detection of cancer are as much a part of holistic treatment as diagnostics and therapy," emphasised Prof Dr Trepel. Prof Dr Bein addressed a major problem: "The German population is afraid of cancer - but is reluctant to go for cancer screening." In this context, the BZKF offers all citizens a free telephone service for advice and guidance via the number 0800 85 100 80. FC Bayern also takes screening seriously, reported Prof Dr Schmidt: "The regular examinations our players undergo also include a component for the early detection of various possible tumour diseases."
"It's about all of us undergoing a degree of awareness therapy here," said Herbert Hainer. Because cancer affects everyone: footballers and non-footballers, the old and the young. And everyone can make a stand against this disease.