LITTLE ROCK, Ark – The latest recognition for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences comes in the form of decorated cleats fit for a touchdown.

The Denver Broncos defensive tackle D.J. Jones has dedicated his custom cleats through the National Football League’s annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign to the Myeloma Center at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, according to UAMS officials.

My Cause, My Cleats is a campaign where participating NFL players customize footwear with designs that represent causes and charities they support.

Jones shared that in 2007 his mother-in-law Angela Fannin, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and underwent a successful bone marrow transplant at UAMS.

In a pregame ceremony on Dec. 11, 2022, at Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High before the Broncos game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jones presented the imprinted cleats to Heather Brown, APRN.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to highlight the lifesaving work of the UAMS Myeloma Center,” Jones said.

“When I look at these cleats, they are a reminder of the strength, courage and determination of my mother-in-law and the UAMS team,” Jones said.

According to a UAMS release, Brown was the nurse who cared for Fannin, a 15-year survivor of the rare blood cancer, while in treatment at UAMS.

“I couldn’t have asked for more capable, compassionate and attentive caregivers during my treatment. Everyone was just excellent,” Fannin said.

According to officials, the UAMS Myeloma Center is the most comprehensive program in the world for research and clinical care for multiple myeloma and related diseases.

Fannin now lives in Atlanta and said she had no idea after her diagnosis that the best treatment center in the world was just two states away. 

“I learned very quickly why people come from over the world to be treated at UAMS,” Fannin said. 

Multiple myeloma affects approximately 34,000 people each year. 

“I encourage all multiple myeloma patients to continue the fight and remember that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations,” Jones said.

The size 13 cleats will be on display in the lobby of the UAMS Myeloma Center, located on the eighth floor of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute in Little Rock.