ATLANTA, GA and MADISON, WI. (March 19, 2012) – Team Draft and the National Lung Cancer Partnership (the Partnership) are joining forces to bring much needed attention and critical resources to lung cancer. The disease takes the lives of more than 150,000 people in the U.S. each year, and claimed the life of Keasha Draft, wife of former NFL linebacker, Chris Draft, in late 2011.
Team Draft, an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, and the Partnership are committed to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing crucially needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” The fact is, anybody can get lung cancer. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the U. S. each year. The smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases.
“Lung cancer came into my house, and it took my wife. Too many families are affected by this horrible disease. It’s time to respond,” said Draft. “That’s why Keasha and I launched Team Draft. She wanted to be an inspiration to those battling the disease and we wanted to raise awareness so that other families wouldn’t have to go through what we went through. Team Draft is committed to changing the face of lung cancer, but it takes a team to tackle cancer, and we are proud to partner with the National Lung Cancer Partnership.”
Along with the Partnership, Team Draft is launching the East Coast leg of a nationwide public awareness campaign to change the face of lung cancer. The two-week tour will include stops at some of the top cancer research and treatment facilities in the country, including several members of the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium (the LCMC).
The LCMC is a National Lung Cancer Partnership-supported initiative made up of 14 leading cancer centers that is revolutionizing the way lung cancer is treated by promoting molecular tumor testing for lung cancer patients. Molecular testing is one of the keys to developing effective personalized lung cancer treatments. The LCMC cancer centers have facilitated targeted treatments for hundreds of patients, through innovative, genetically driven clinical trials as well as commercially available therapies.
“Chris Draft is not alone. Too many families are facing lung cancer in their lives. The National Lung Cancer Partnership is committed to advancing treatments – and cures – for more patients so families like Chris’ won’t have to go through such loss,” said Dr. Regina Vidaver, Executive Director of the Partnership. “The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium is an amazing vehicle to improve patient care, and we are honored to have Chris’ involvement in the initiative,” she said.
Join Team Draft and the National Lung Cancer Partnership today to help change the face of lung cancer. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter that that anyone can get lung cancer, even people who have never smoked, like Keasha. Visit www.nationallungcancerpartnership.org for content to share with Facebook and Twitter followers. Also consider supporting the national public awareness campaign by donating to Team Draft at www.teamdraft.org and to the Partnership at www.nationallungcancerpartnership.org.
About The Chris Draft Family Foundation and Team Draft
The Chris Draft Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering families to live healthy lifestyles. The Foundation focuses on several initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline and physical fitness. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.chrisdraftfamilyfoundation.org.
Through its Team Draft initiative, which was launched by Chris and Keasha during her year-long battle with Stage IV Lung Cancer, the Foundation is carrying on Keasha’s fight to tackle cancer by promoting awareness, research and scholarship, and to save lives by changing the face of lung cancer. Team Draft is dedicated to raising awareness, accelerating research for a cure, and leading improvements in the patient treatment experience by improving cancer treatment facilities and creating a better environment in which those battling the disease can fight. To learn more about Team Draft, please visit www.teamdraft.org.
About The National Lung Cancer Partnership
The National Lung Cancer Partnership is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of leading doctors, researchers, patient advocates, and lung cancer survivors dedicated to raising public awareness of the disease and generating funding for lung cancer research. For more information, please visit NationalLungCancerPartnership.org