Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

A Survivor at Every Rink: Ottawa Senators

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lung cancer survivor-advocate Elizabeth Dessureault, and her husband, represented Team Draft at the Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday night. They watched the Ottawa Senators take on the Philadelphia Flyers. #HockeyFightsCancer #LungCancerCanada #LCAM15

We had a fantastic time and want to thank Team Draft so mcuh for making it happen!! Your “survivor at every rink” is doing amazing things and we truly appreciate it!! The video post has over 1000 likes and has surely helped to change the face of lung cancer!

Watch the video of Elizabeth at the Ottawa Senators game

Elizabeth Dessureault

When she was told she had lung cancer, Elizabeth Dessureault says, she was unable to process what she was hearing. “It didn’t make sense to me that a 26-year-old, healthy, non-smoker could get lung cancer.”

Hers is not the face usually associated with the disease. But, as smoking rates decline, people like Dessureault — young, non-smokers, often female — are increasingly being diagnosed with the cancer that is the deadliest and receives less research funding than other major cancers.

While smoking is still the leading cause of lung cancer, the majority of new patients are people who never smoked or no longer smoke, according to a new report from Lung Cancer Canada, which paints a picture of uneven treatment across the country, poor early diagnosis and low research investment.

Dessureault’s case is typical of these new faces in some ways — by the time she was diagnosed, her non-small-cell lung cancer was already well advanced. The first surgeon she saw told Dessureault there was nothing he could do and gave her a year to live. “It was very traumatizing.”

What is far from typical is the fact that Dessureault was pregnant when she received the devastating diagnosis. Her son Jack — born two months early so that his mother could receive more aggressive treatment — is now a thriving four months old. But Dessureault’s experiences have inspired to her raise awareness about the new realities of lung cancer and the need for support.

“I want to help change the face of lung cancer,” she said.

Read the full article

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 Ottawa Senators, the NHL, Lung Cancer Canada 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!