Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Thursday Night Football – A Survivor at Every Stadium: New York Jets

East Rutherford, NJ. Lung cancer survivor Johanna Medina and Weil Cornell Dr. Brendon Stiles represented Team Draft on Thursday Night at MetLife Stadium. They watched a Thursday Night Football match up between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills. #Tacklinglungcancer #LCAM15

Johanna Medina

At age 39, she had a finding on her chest X-ray and CT that many pulmonologists would have just assumed to be infectious in a non-smoker her age. Her pulmonologist, Ben Harvey, stuck with it though and eventually diagnosed her with lung cancer. Dr. Stiles performed what should be a curative resection on her two years ago and she has been disease free since. Johanna is a New York native and a mother of two young kids.

Dr. Brendon Stiles

As a thoracic surgeon at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, James Wood High School graduate Dr. Brendon Stiles saves patients from the same disease that claimed the life of his father, former Frederick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth “Kenny” Stiles.

It has been 10 years and a couple of weeks since Stiles, a dairy farmer in Clear Brook, died of lung cancer at age 61. His son was at Winchester Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon giving a presentation about the latest developments in treating the deadly disease.

A 1990 graduate of James Wood, Stiles initially thought he’d be a veterinarian.

“I grew up on a farm, and I liked animals, but then I realized I liked people more than animals,” he said during an interview Wednesday morning.

Stiles’s twin brother, Ryan, is a lawyer in Wichita, Kan. His mother, Tricia, is a legislative assistant for 27th District state Sen. Jill Vogel,R-Upperville. After going to college and medical school at the University of Virginia, Stiles completed a general surgery residency in Charlottesville as well. While a resident, he took time out to do scientific research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NewYork. Stiles, 42, then did a cardiothoracic residency at Weill Cornell, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Sloan Kettering. He has stayed on at Weill Cornell, and in addition to being a thoracic surgeon, he’s an associate professor, and does clinical and basic science research.

“Most of my practice is lung cancer,” Stiles said. “I was sort of already on that path when [my father] got diagnosed, but obviously, that’s strengthened my resolve to take care of lung cancer patients. “It’s made a tremendous difference. It’s hard to imagine being a doctor and not seeing the other side of the disease you’re treating.”

Read more about Dr. Brendon Stiles

Breathing new life to lung cancer research

In 2012, we, Team Draft, launched our inaugural Survivor at Every Stadium initiative on CNN during a nationally-televised prime time special focusing on lung cancer and our National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer.

Leveraging our connections with the NFL, its teams and players and our relationships with many of the top cancer centers in the country, As part of our National Campaign, this celebration of survivorship raises lung cancer awareness, gives hope to those battling the disease, and shines a light on the important work being done at cancer research and treatment centers around the country.

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 NFL, New York Jets, Meyer Cancer Center, Weil Cornell Medical College, Dr. Brendon Stiles 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!