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Greg Van Roten using My Cause My Cleats to honor grandfather, raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease


According to the Alzheimer's Association, over 6 million people suffer from the neurological brain disorder that causes problems with memory, thinking skills and behavior. By 2050, that number is projected to climb up to 13 million with one in three seniors expected to succumb to the disease.

Greg Van Roten and his wife are unfortunately too familiar with these statistics. They've witnessed family close to them essentially become prisoner in their own body due to it.

The Raiders guard's grandfather, Edward Toper, passed away from the disease a few years ago. Toper played a huge role in bringing football into his grandson's life, sharing a passion for the spot.

"My pop-pop is a big influence on my life," Van Roten said with great emotion. "I miss him every day. He loved football, loved watching me play and you know, just always thinking about him every day."

**G Greg Van Roten**

Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation

Van Roten's wife also had a grandfather pass from Alzheimer's – coincidentally his name was Edward as well. As the two share the same pain of losing loved ones to the disease, they're using NFL's "My Cause My Cleats" initiative to make a difference.

His cause of choice is the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to understand the causes of Alzheimer's disease, improve the care of people living with it and find a cure.

The cleats, which the lineman will sport in Week 14, bare the names of both grandfathers with angel wings. The three-tone blue shoes also have the Fisher Center's logo on them.

Van Roten said he plans on wearing the cleats pregame against the Vikings as it is important to him to not only raise awareness for the foundation and their work to find a cure, but to remember an important figure in his life.

"This is just a small way to honor him," Van Roten said. "This is a cool memory for me and my family to have, and something to remember him by."

For more on the Raiders' 2023 My Cause My Cleats campaign, visit

View the custom cleats Raiders players will be wearing for the NFL's 2023 My Cause My Cleats initiative.

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