South Bend, IN. Indiana native lung cancer survivor, and retired USMC Colonel, Mark Smith, represented Team Draft at the University of Notre Dame on Saturday night. Col. Smith watched the Fighting Irish lose a close game to the visiting Stanford Cardinal. #changingthefaceoflungcancer
A local Marine says he is surviving because of three things in his life — faith, fitness and fight. I-Team 8 investigated why the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs were not notifying veterans like Col. Mark Smith that they should be screened for lung cancer after exposure to oil field fire in the Gulf War. Since then, Smith has been fighting cancer and shared with I-Team 8 his new fight.
Smith is an Indiana State trooper and a USMC colonel. He trained thousands of Marines at Camp Pendleton, deploying to the first Gulf War and then Iraq. The enemy nicknamed the battalion “The Mad Ghosts.”
Now diagnosed at stage 3b lung cancer, the Marine Battle book is replaced by Smith’s Cancer Book. It’s a book full of appointments for chemotherapy and radiation.
“Now it’s game on. Now it’s the fight. That part I can understand,” Smith said.
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 NCAA, 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 University of Notre Dame, Stanford University, Franciscan Cancer Center, Ron Powlus, Matt Doyle and all of our Team Draft supporters for helping make this event possible.