FOXBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - The Patriots organization extended a warm welcome to cancer survivors as part of the NFL’s “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign.

Seventeen survivors were invited to Gillette to take part in a day of pampering on Monday, after receiving surprise invitations last week to dine at the stadium and meet the team.

“It’s a crucial catch for cancer – early detection, and it’s been pretty amazing,” said Susan Hurley, a cancer survivor. “It’s always great when you can meet your favorite players and your favorite team.”

Included in the day’s events were manicures, yoga and massages.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft also spent time with the survivors, who have all been receiving treatment at Dana-Farber and Mass General Hospital. Kraft, who lost his wife, Myra Kraft, to ovarian cancer in 2011, said the event and beyond is a cause that is close to his heart.

“It’s one of the most special days to me, personally, because I lost the dearest person in my life to this insidious disease,” Kraft said.

By the end of the day, he had one request of his guests: for them to join the team again at a Patriots game when New England takes on the Chicago Bears on Monday, Oct. 24.

A special on-field ceremony honoring the women is slated to take place before the kick-off.

All said and done, survivors said the Patriots day of pampering was much more than a day at the spa.

“Being with all the other women who are going through this, you know, cancer is very isolating, and to be with other women and be able to hear their stories and share my story is extremely beneficial,” Hurley said.

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