Atlanta, GA. Lung cancer survivor-advocates Jackie Archer (Northside Hospital) and Samantha Mixon (Piedmont Health) will represent Team Draft , Thursday night at the Georgia Dome. The survivors will watch their hometown Atlanta Falcons take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tuesday, August 2, 2005, at the age of 40 years and in seemingly excellent health, an evening commuter came crashing into my SUV. I quickly phoned 911. Within moments there were lights and sirens coming from every direction.
Samantha Mixon looks and feels great, but she is fighting stage four lung cancer and all the assumptions that people make about her disease.
“The first thing they ask is, ‘Did you smoke?’ It’s annoying at this point,” Mixon told 11Alive’s Jennifer Leslie.
She’s a non-smoker with no family history…
This Thursday’s game is just the latest in Team Draft’s A Survivor at Every Stadium initiative. Working with teams throughout the NFL, Team Draft is leading this national effort to have lung cancer survivors, attend games across the country. As part of Team Draft’s National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer, the A Survivor at Every Stadium initiative is designed to raise awareness, give hope to those battling the disease, and shine a light on the important work being done at cancer research and treatment centers around the country.
Team Draft, an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, 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 Draft, Jackie Archer and Samantha Mixon–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. “If we can take away the stigma that says you have to be a smoker to get lung cancer, we have a real chance to educate people about the true nature of the disease,” explains Draft.