Houston, TX. It’s Super Bowl week and Team Draft headed to Houston, TX. Local lung cancer survivor-advocates joined Team Draft, and some of Houston’s world renown doctors for a night of fellowship at Tango & Malbec by the Galleria Mall. The dinner, sponsored by Myriad, gave the survivors a chance to mingle with other survivors, and learn from lung cancer experts from around the Texas Medical Center. In addition to mingling with other local survivors and doctors, the survivors had a chance meet the top three winners from Team Draft’s 2017 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge and converse with Team Draft co- founder Chris Draft– Atlanta Falcons Legend and recently confirmed Public Director of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
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 dinner 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.
2017 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge
The winners for Team Draft’s Third Annual Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge were announced on January 2, 2017. 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 were awarded trips to Super Bowl LI, the NFL Pro-Bowl, the Taste of the NFL and the NFC Championship. The survivors, Jeremy Smallwood, Dirk Bosgraf, and Lisa Moran have an opportunity to share their powerful stories with key individuals with influence from across the country.
“The day my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer, she made the decision to live each day to the fullest,” says Draft. He goes on to explain that “when you’re in what is literally a life and death struggle like Keasha and I were in, you realize moments matter,”—moments like the trip Chris and Keasha took to Dallas to watch the Super Bowl shortly after her diagnosis.
“It was something she had always wanted to do,” says Draft, “and being with her at that game is a memory I will cherish forever.” Now, Team Draft is giving other lung cancer survivors the opportunity to create similar memories through its Super Bowl Challenge.
As part of our National Campaign to change the face of lung cancer, 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.
About The Chris Draft Family and Team Draft
The Chris Draft Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering families to live healthy lifestyles. The Foundation focuses on several primary initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline and physical fitness. To learn more, please visit www.chrisdraftfamilyfoundation.org.
Through its Team Draft initiative, the Foundation is carrying on Keasha’s fight to tackle cancer by promoting cancer awareness, research and scholarship, and to saving lives by changing the face of lung cancer. Team Draft is dedicated to empowering people to live longer and live stronger. To learn more about Team Draft, please visit www.teamdraft.org.
Team Draft is an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation created by nationally recognized health advocate and former NFL linebacker, Chris Draft, and his late wife, Keasha, during Keasha’s year-long struggle with lung cancer. Their hope was that Keasha’s valiant fight to dance, smile and live would give hope, comfort and inspiration to the patients, caregivers and healthcare providers who are battling the disease every day.
While attending Clemson University, Keasha was a member of the Rally Cat’s dance squad before graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, Keasha worked as an engineer while dancing for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets before working in the pharmaceutical industry. She was an energetic, vibrant young woman who had never smoked when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in December 2010. At the time, her only “symptom” was a slight shortness of breath a few days earlier. Despite the diagnosis and knowing the long odds they faced, Keasha and Chris decided to fight back. On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side, they launched Team Draft at their wedding. One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight and died at the age of 38.
Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” The fact is anybody can get lung cancer. Yet, despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases. Team Draft is out to change all that by using the unique platform available to Chris as a former NFL player and nationally recognized community leader and health advocate to lead a National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer—a campaign that has taken us to more than 130 of the top cancer treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada.