Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Patty Watkins – 2017 Super Bowl Challenge Check Presentation – Emory Winship Cancer Institute

Atlanta, GA. Lung cancer survivor-advocate Patty Watkins chose the Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute as her beneficiary of the funds that she raised during Team Draft’s 2017 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge.

I’m so ready for a cure and for my own home team, Emory,( where I’ve been treated by their fantastic oncology radiation team for my brain mets as well as by Dr. Ramalingan for my lung cancer), to RISE UP like the Falcons. Praying for their researchers to find better treatments, or better yet, a cure.  I’m ready for them to  battle for me and so many others in Atlanta and across the country who are warriors waiting for a cure. I was able to RISE UP $6,200 in donations towards Cabral Franklin Fund at Emory’s Winship Cancer Center, through the Team Draft’s 2017 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge. This fund is specifically set up to target lung cancer research specifically.

I thank The Chris Draft Family Foundation for their tireless efforts to celebrate survivors through experiences like this.  Thank you Team Draft for your support and your mission to eradicate lung cancer and the stigma we all face.  And helping to give hope to so many struggling with this disease.  We thank you for knocking on the doors of all the research institutions across the world in our behalf as well. MAY THEY ALL RISE UP!

Founded by Draft and his late wife Keasha, who died of lung cancer in 2011 at the age of 38, Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding through its Campaign To Change The Face Of Lung Cancer, which is committed to shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” The centerpiece of Team Draft’s Campaign is its annual Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge.

As Draft explains, “the Super Bowl Challenge gives us a unique opportunity to use the overwhelming media coverage surrounding the Super Bowl as a platform to raise critical public awareness about lung cancer on an international level.  With the game as a backdrop, we can use 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.”  And Team Draft’s efforts are paying off.

“The Super Bowl Challenge achieves amazing things in terms of public awareness and changing perceptions about lung cancer,” says Dr. Ross Camidge, the Director of Thoracic Oncology at Colorado University Cancer Center, the cancer center where two of last year’s Super Bowl Challenge winners were treated.

In addition to raising critical public awareness, the Super Bowl Challenge also raises funds for lung cancer organizations and treatment centers across North America.  Last year, participants who raised more than $1,000< during the Super Bowl Challenge were able to commit 50% of the funds they raised to a lung cancer organization or cancer center of their choice.

Thanks to the overwhelming success of our annual Super Bowl Challenge, Team Draft is maintaining its commit to 50% if the survivors raise over $1,000, but if they raise over $5,000, their designated beneficiary will receive 80% with the remaining 20% going to support Team Draft’s mission to change the face of lung cancer.

Of this aspect of the Super Bowl Challenge, Dr. Camidge says, “you need somebody working on the national level. You need somebody working on the local level. Everybody wins.”

For the survivors who participate, the Super Bowl Challenge is so much more than just a fundraiser.

“Team Draft has really helped boost our family’s spirits during this challenging time,” says Dr. Lucy Kalanithi. In 2015, Lucy and her husband, Dr. Paul Kalanithi, won Team Draft’s inaugural Super Bowl Challenge and were able to join Team Draft in Phoenix, Arizona for Super Bowl 49.  Paul went on to write the bestselling memoir When Breath Becomes Air — a powerful and moving chronicle of his life and lung cancer journey — before passing away at the age of 37.

2016 Super Bowl Challenge winner, Kim Ringen says, “As a lung cancer survivor, I would highly recommend to anybody to put your hat in the ring because it is so uplifting to be associated with a group of people that are coming together to make a difference.”

To learn more about Team Draft’s 2017 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge, visit

Special thanks to the Jon Wilmot and the Wilmot Family, NFL, Astra Zeneca, and all of our Team Draft supporters for helping make this experience possible.

About Team Draft 

Team Draft, an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.”  Despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, Team Draft is out to change all that. To learn more about Team Draft, share your story, or make a donation, please visit