Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship
A Survivor at Every Arena: Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta, GA. Piedmont Health lung cancer survivor-advocate Billie Jane Hood represented Team Draft at Philips Arena on Wednesday night. Billie celebrated her birthday by watching the Atlanta Hawks defeat the Philadelphia 76ers. #ASurvivorAtEveryArena #Changingthefaceoflungcancer
COVINGTON — When Covington resident Billie Jane Hood underwent a routine evaluation for knee replacement surgery at Piedmont Newton Hospital, the last thing she expected to hear was that she had stage IV lung cancer.
“I was never more shocked by anything in my life,” Hood, who is a lifelong nonsmoker, said. “It was a wild roller coaster ride from the first PET scan to being told I had advanced stage lung cancer and then on to more tests. I told my doctor, ‘I still have places to go and things to see.’”
Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” The fact is anybody can get lung cancer. Yet, despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases. Team Draft is out to change all that by using the unique platform available to Chris as a former NFL player and nationally recognized community leader and health advocate to lead a National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer—a campaign that has taken us to more than 100 of the top cancer treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada.
Through our Survivor at Every Arena initiative, we are working with all 30 NBA teams to have a lung cancer survivor from a local cancer center and their guests attend one of the team’s home games.
Our goals are to create a unique experience for participating survivors and to raise awareness on a local and national level by using each game and each survivor’s story to weave a broader narrative about the state of lung cancer and the hope that now exists for those battling the disease.