Los Angeles, CA. OC lung cancer survivor-adovcate Tabitha Paccione, and her family, represented Team Draft the LA Memorial Coliseum on Sunday. The group watched the LA Rams defeat the visiting Green Bay Packers with Team Draft co-founder and Rams Alum Chris Draft. Tabitha also join a large group of survivors (season ticket holders and ACS guests) that were recognized throughout the game as a part of the NFL Crucial Catch – Intercept Cancer initiative. View Photos
If you can’t laugh at cancer, you’re in trouble.
Fortunately, Tabitha Paccione, a 36-year-old teacher with stage IV lung cancer, has the most amazing medicine immediately to her right and immediately to her left.
That would be her son, 13-year-old Dylan, and her daughter, Brooklyn, a comedian and nurse rolled into the body of a nine-year-old.
“I believe in being honest with them,” Paccione explains as she makes cheese quesadillas for lunch.
With tears welling, Paccione recalls the time before she was diagnosed with lung cancer when she started coughing so hard she had to pull to the side of the road. With her kids in the car, her body fell apart and she vomited.
“I had to wash my hands off in a sprinkler,” Paccione recalls, wiping away tears of embarrassment.
But instead of a silent sober moment at the kitchen table where Paccione and I talk, gales of laughter from Dylan and Brooklyn wash away all traces of sadness.
Even Mom’s tears instantly change from grief to glee. The memory of Mom with puke on her clothes and having to use a stranger’s sprinkler is just too funny for Paccione and kids.
“We laugh about it now,” Paccione says, trying to suppress a giggle. “But it was scary then.” Read More…
In 2012, we, Team Draft, launched our inaugural Survivor Series 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. Our Survivor at Every College Stadium, leverages our connections with the NCAA, its teams and players with our relationships with many of the top cancer centers in the country. As a part of our International Campaign, the games allow us to celebrate our survivors, raise awareness, and give hope to those battling the disease, as well as shine 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 Los Angeles Rams, Molly Higgins, American Cancer Society, Crystal Yelverton the NFL and all of our Team Draft supporters for helping make this event possible.