Los Angeles, CA. USC lung cancer survivor Sandy Jauregui-Baza and her husband Steven represented Team Draft at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday Night. Sandy and Steve joined Rams Alumni on the Throwback Terrace Deck and watched the Los Angeles Rams lose a close game to the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. #changingthefaceoflungcancer
Why are so many women who have never lit up developing this disease?
In 2012, Sandy Jauregui-Baza was hiking along the Tamul waterfall in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, when she started coughing and having trouble breathing. “I remember thinking I must be coming down with something,” she recalls.
Jauregui-Baza was an avid exerciser; she ran or hiked daily, logging more than 100 miles each month. She ate clean, avoiding almost all processed foods. She figured she was too healthy for anything to be seriously wrong. But after developing flu-like symptoms, she went to an urgent care clinic in Los Angeles. The doctor thought it might be tuberculosis, based on the results of her cloudy chest X-ray and her recent honeymoon in Nepal, where the infectious disease is common. But a few days later, when the definitive test for TB came back negative, doctors did a lung biopsy to look for other causes.
The final diagnosis: Jauregui-Baza had stage IV lung cancer, the most advanced form of the disease; it had spread into the bones of her spinal column. “I thought the doctors had to be kidding,” says Jauregui-Baza, now 32. “I’ve never even smoked, and I had just hiked to the base camp of Mount Everest. How could I have lung cancer?” The prognosis was grim: More than 95 percent of stage IV lung cancer patients succumb to the disease within five years of diagnosis. Jauregui-Baza was given just six months to live.
In 2012, we launched our inaugural Team Draft 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 Stadium, leverages our connections with the NFL, 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.
Team Draft’s fifth annual Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge kicked off on November 1, 2018. This unique fund raising challenge gives lung cancer survivors the opportunity to raise funds for public awareness and cutting-edge research that is giving new hope to those battling this often misunderstood disease. The top three fundraisers, announced on December 31, 2018, will earn trips to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, GA, the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL and the Taste of the NFL in Atlanta, GA. The survivors have an opportunity to share their powerful stories with key individuals with influence from across the country. #RepYourCity #RepYourCancerCenter #RepYourLCOrganization
**The lung cancer survivors that raise over $5,000 will be able to designated a beneficiary (Cancer Center or LC Organization) that will receive 80% of their raised funds (-fees) and the remaining 20% will support Team Draft’s mission to change the face of lung cancer.
Special thanks to the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL and all of our Team Draft supporters for helping make this event possible.