Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

A Survivor at Every Rink: New York Islanders

Brooklyn, NY. Lung cancer survivor-advocates Alisha Brenes and Barbara Kotler represented Team Draft at the Barclays Center on Thursday night.

My name is Alisa Brenes and I am a lung cancer survivor. I guess you can say my lung cancer journey started before I was born. My mom, my maternal grandfather and most of his siblings all died of lung cancer.

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer at 43 years of age, just a few months after my mom passed away of lung cancer. It still boggles my mind to this day that I was taking care of my mother during her last days while at the same time the same tumor was growing in my lung.

I had a third of my lung removed and followed up with chemotherapy. I was a single mother of 10 year old twin boys at the time. They were in elementary school and I didn’t even know if I would be there for their grade school graduation. Thanks to God and the Universe and my amazing doctors, I lived to see my twins graduate from college. My next goal is to live to see them employed 🙂

I am committed to spreading awareness and supporting others as a Lifeline Support Mentor, helping newly diagnosed patients. I also sit on the Committee Board of the Breathe Deep NYC yearly Walk For A Cure and we have raised over $500,000 for lung cancer research. I have so much gratitude for Chris and all he does and am honored to be a part of Team Draft.

I am thrilled to be going to see the Islanders, I used to go often as a young girl until work got in the way. What better way to celebrate all my brother and sister survivors!

Alisha and Barbara watched the New York Islanders take on the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. #ASurvivorAtEveryRink #HockeyFightsCancer #NHL

My name is Barbara Kotler I am a Lung Cancer Survivor. I was diagnosed December 2008 with stage 1A adenocarcimona. I had a upper right lobectomy at NY Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center with Surgeon Dr.Joshua Sonett.

I am grateful to be celebrating life with every breath I take! My family is my world, I married 31 years to my husband Steven and I have two Amazing sons Adam and Myles.

I am very active in raising awareness for lung cancer I’ve raised over 100,000.00 for lung cancer research and just finished filming a video for Myriad Genetics helping to bring to the forefront a tissue test to determine risk of reoccurrence in early stage lung cancer patients.

My message is empower yourself with information to be your own health advocate! I am grateful to the Chris Draft Foundation and Chris Draft for their dedication in helping survivors like myself by raising awareness and changing the face of lung cancer!

Given the overwhelming success of our Survivor at Every Stadium initiative, in 2012, we expanded it beyond the gridiron to the ice through our Survivor at Every Rink initiative. As part of Team Draft’s National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer, this celebration of survivorship raises awareness, gives hope to those battling the disease and shines a light on the important work being done at cancer research and treatment centers across North America.

Through our Survivor at Every Rink initiative, we are working with all NHL teams to have a lung cancer survivor attend one of the team’s home games as a part of their national initiative, Hockey Fights Cancer!

Team Draft’s goals are to create a unique experience for participating survivors and to raise awareness on a local, national, and international level by using each game and each survivor’s story to weave a broader narrative about the state of cancer and the hope that now exists for those battling the disease.

Special thanks to the New York Islanders, the NHL and our Team Draft supporters for helping make this experience possible.

Donate now to Support the National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer!