NFL Players Association › News: "Three weeks into the 2005 season, Buffalo linebacker and two-time Pro-Bowl selection Takeo Spikes, who now plays for San Francisco, suffered a season-ending injury to his Achilles tendon. With more than half the season ahead of him, Spikes took advantage of his recovery period to spend more time in the community--in both Buffalo and his hometown of Atlanta. He divided his time among causes that were important to him—which included supporting a family that lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and speaking to at-risk kids.
Since that time, Spikes has also become actively involved in his 51 Ways Foundation. Spikes and retired linebacker Carlos Emmons created the foundation in 2004 to support families of children who have been diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders through financial, spiritual and physical resources.
The similarities Spikes and Emmons share led them to create their foundation: Until Emmons retired, both wore the number 51 on their jersey; they both live in Atlanta during the off-season; and they both have lost family members to cancer.
“Our organization is unique because it was started by two athletes on two different NFL teams, and our work together can cover more ground and have a greater impact,” Spikes said. “I started it because I wanted to give back and help those in need. I wanted kids who were not from big cities to realize that if they work hard and believe, that they could make it too.”
Spikes hosts an annual 51 Ways Charity Weekend in Atlanta, which is comprised of with events that raise money for research for the AFLAC Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Atlanta at Emory University. In addition, Spikes hosts his annual fashion show known as First and Ten: A Fashion Extravaganza."