Joyce Rannals has been a staff assistant for the Rice University football team for the past 14 years, unofficially being dubbed the team mom to hundreds of young men. Known for her unconditional love and one-of-a-kind treat bags, Rannals was diagnosed with breast cancer last February.
“Ms. Joyce is a wonderful, warm-hearted lady who gives so much love to the Rice football team,” said Malcolm Hill ‘15. “The impact [of her diagnosis] was pretty eye opening, that the lady who greets us every day, and shows us all so much love, could go through something so severe as cancer.”
Partnered for a community service project in SMGT 466, a Sport Public Relations class at Rice, Hill and his teammate, Broderick Jackson ‘14, began their “Change for a Change” Team Joyce campaign to help Rannals with some of her medical bills.
The two athletes aimed to raise $5,000 dollars during the team’s five games in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A penny was raised for every offensive yard, a nickel for every successful field goal, a dime for every touchdown, interception, or fumble recovery, and a quarter for every victory.
The main mission of the campaign, Jackson explained, was “to give Ms. Joyce the strength to continue to fight and to let her know she’s not in this alone.”
The pair didn’t just meet their goal – they brought in more than $10,000 dollars, double the amount they hoped for, through both the team’s performance on the field and the generous support of Rice fans through an online donation website.
In addition to Jackson and Hill’s campaign, Rice football dedicated its 2013-2014 season to Rannals. The back of their football helmets featured a pink ribbon with Rannal’s initials, and the players sported Team Joyce wristbands during the season.
Molly Mohr, a junior from San Antonio, is double majoring in Sport Management and English and minoring in Business.