Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Former NFL Linebacker Chris Draft Launches “Changing the Face of Lung Cancer” through the Team Draft Initiative, during ESPN’s XLVI Super Bowl Coverage

tdctfolcrsAtlanta, GA-Jan.30, 2012– The Team Draft initiative is a campaign to “Change the Face of Lung Cancer” by raising awareness of lung cancer through prevention and research. Team Draft was created by former NFL linebacker Chris Draft and the late Keasha Rutledge Draft. They are also the co-founders of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering families through education and healthy living. Draft started his collegiate football career at Stanford University and entered into the NFL upon graduating. Draft has played for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins during the span of his 13-year professional career.

Chris’ wife Keasha passed away on December 27, 2011, only one year after being diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer, and just thirty days after the two were married in Atlanta, Georgia. In her honor, her husband will direct Team Draft’s nation-wide effort to Tackle Cancer so that Keasha’s valiant fight to live, smile, and dance will give hope and comfort to people across the world. The Team Draft’s “Changing the Face of Lung Cancer” campaign will raise awareness of lung cancer by shattering misperceptions and raising much-needed funds for continued research and innovation in targeted therapies for personalized treatment in the honor of Keasha and the thousands of people and their families affected by this disease.”

A healthy, active and energetic woman, dancer, who received her electrical engineering degree from Clemson University, Keasha never smoked. Sadly, what happened to Keasha could happen to anyone and the numbers prove 16,000 – 24,000 people die each year from non-smoking lung cancer.“We are committed to changing the face of lung cancer by shattering stereotypes,” says Draft. “I, along with Team Draft am carrying on our mission. Keasha wanted to inspire people to embrace each day and by remembering to dance, smile and live.”

An undergraduate scholarship at Clemson has been established in celebration of Keasha’s beautiful life and determined spirit. The Keasha Rutledge Draft Memorial scholarship serves to provide an opportunity for Clemson students to further their studies in pursuit of their dreams. Chris Draft will share his wife’s valiant fight by moving forward with an initiative launched at the couple’s wedding by responding with Team Draft. The campaign strives to raise research funds, supporting Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center offers the latest innovations in lung cancer detection and therapy, including routine genetic testing of tumors as part of the diagnosis procedure and clinical trials of new drugs and treatment.

Many of Draft’s NFL colleagues have also rallied around him in support, asking how they can get involved with Team Draft and the initiative is quickly gaining national attention. ESPN will air coverage of Draft speaking about the campaign during the Sunday February 5, 2012 XLVI Super Bowl at 11:40 a.m. EST to rally the nation to take action by logging on to: and donating. All proceeds will go towards lung cancer research, awareness and prevention.

For more info on Team Draft For Media Inquiries Contact: Randall Hawkins,