In NFL CHARACTERS UNITE, Larry goes to the Wellness Community Center in Phoenix to meet Natalee, a brain cancer survivor who has felt judged and ostracized due to the toll her illness has taken on her physical appearance. Fitzgerald, whose mother battled cancer, relates to the stares, mean comments and discrimination Natalee has experienced. He shows her how he uses photography to capture beauty that may not always be readily apparent. After teaching her how to use a camera, Natalee and Larry take pictures of other kids at the Wellness Community Center. The camera becomes a powerful tool for Natalee to fight prejudice and to empower others recovering from cancer to see themselves in a different light.
Larry Fitzgerald, the Arizona Cardinals' perennial All-Pro wide receiver, was a teenager when his beloved mother Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the years, he witnessed her not only having to battle the deadly disease but also to battle discrimination. People judged her and treated her cruelly, as if her illness made her an outcast. Carol, who served as an intervention specialist for the Minnesota Department of Health, had seen HIV and AIDS patients experience similar prejudice and she encouraged her son to have an open mind about all people no matter their appearance or circumstances. In 2003, Carol succumbed to her cancer, but her son continued to fight on and honor his mother's memory. Larry has made it a mission to visit cancer centers and undertake charitable work in Phoenix and around the globe. He has become an avid photographer so he can chronicle every precious life moment and uncover beauty in everyone and everything.