Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

The Taste of the Championship – College Football Playoff

San Jose, CA. Bay Area lung cancer survivor-advocate Don Stranathan and lung cancer advocate Ron Fong represented Team Draft at the Eckrich Taste of the Championship the night before the CFP National Championship. Don and Ron joined our co-founder Chris Draft, and other Bay Area, College and Pro Football Legends at the event.

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Don Stranathan

The bad news is that I have cancer. The good news is that cancer has taught me to live life to the fullest. I never allow cancer to define me. I rarely miss an opportunity to hike, bike, or do anything that strengthens my immune system and keeps me out in nature.

In October 2011 I met Penny Blume, the love of my life, on a lung cancer support community on Inspire. Penny left this earth on Jan. 21, 2014 after battling small cell lung cancer for 32 months. Penny and I spent our time together traveling back and forth from New York to California. She passed at my home in Santa Rosa, Calif., after trying one last clinical trial at Stanford Cancer Center.

Penny and I turned to each other for emotional support to battle our cancers and fell in love. It was after a couple of months of texting and chatting on social media that we decided to meet. Penny flew to California for her first visit in January 2012, and the rest is history.

My relationship with Penny also marked the beginning of my advocacy work for lung cancer. It started when a friend of ours asked us to post our story on a lung cancer survivors group on Facebook. I posted something, and then Penny and I decided to repost it on Inspire, since it was the site that brought us together. In September 2012 our story was shared by ABC News and Good Morning America. In the following weeks, it was shared and tweeted all over the world…

My last promises to Penny were that I would continue to live life to the fullest and advocate for lung cancer research and awareness. One day at a time I try to keep those promises to her.

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The Eckrich Taste of the Championship is an opportunity for local residents and national championship game attendees to sample gourmet food and drink from over 20 Bay Area chefs in support of Extra Yard for Teachers. This premium event serves as a unique combination of an exploration of local cuisine and a celebration of the teaching profession.

Held at the Tech Museum of Innovation, this event will merge the technological environment of northern California with the educational mission of the CFP Foundation and the Extra Yard for Teachers platform.

All proceeds benefit Extra Yard for Teachers programming.

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 special events 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, Patty Watkins, Gina Hollenbeck and Jeff Meckstroth were announced on December 31, 2018, and they have 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.

**The Challenge is over but the fundraising continues until the day after the Super Bowl. 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 College Football Playoff, the NFL and all of our Team Draft supporters for helping make this event possible.

Donate now to Support the National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer!