Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Team Draft To Celebrate Co-Founder’s Birthday By Attending Live Taping Of Dancing With The Stars With 12-Year-Old Lung Cancer Survivor

tdctfolcMonday, May 13, 2013 Los Angeles, CA- Celebrating what would have been the 40th birthday of Team Draft’s co-founder, Keasha Draft, who lost her courageous battle with lung cancer in 2011.

( Los Angeles, CA) – Monday, May 13, 2013, would have been the 40th birthday of Team Draft’s co-

founder, Keasha Draft, who lost her courageous battle with lung cancer in 2011. Team Draft is marking

the occasion by spending the evening at a live taping of Dancing With The Stars with 12-year-old lung

cancer survivor Gabby Wilson and her mother, Dana. Gabby and Dana will be joined at the taping

by Keasha’s husband, nationally-recognized health advocate and former NFL linebacker, Chris Draft,

Chris’ mother, Rose, and Keasha’s mother, Gail Rutledge. Dancing With The Stars airs tonight at 8:00

p.m. (EST) on ABC.

Team Draft is an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation created by Keasha and Chris 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 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 fight and died at the age of 38.

“’Strong’ is too shallow and too small a word to describe Keasha. She was, quite simply, ferocious,”

says Draft. “I see that same fierce spirit in Gabby, and I can’t think of anybody I would rather have

join me at Dancing With The Stars tonight,” he adds. Draft first met Gabby, who has been battling lung

cancer since she was 5 years old, last year at a stop on Team Draft’s National Campaign to Change the

Face of Lung Cancer.

That Team Draft will celebrate Keasha’s birthday by attending a taping of Dancing With The Stars

is significant. Aside from being one of Keasha’s favorite shows, Dancing With The Stars has been a

strong ally in the fight to raise lung cancer awareness. Last season, DWTS Pros Jonathan Roberts and

Anna Trebunskaya performed a tribute dance in honor of their friend and fellow ballroom dancer, Julia

Ivleva, who was in the middle of her own battle with Stage IV Lung Cancer. Jonathan, Anna, and Julia

embody the dance, smile and live philosophy, and Team Draft thanks DWTS for helping to shine the

light on lung cancer.