She did it. A 38-year-old Denver woman battling cancer is going to the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. 9NEWS at 4 p.m. 01/04/16. KUSA
DENVER, Colorado – She did it. A 38-year-old Denver woman battling cancer is going to the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Kimberly Ringen raised $22,340 for lung cancer—the most of any person in the country– as part of a contest sponsored by the Chris Draft Family Foundation, named after the former NFL linebacker who lost his wife to lung cancer.
Draft’s wife — Lakeasha Monique Rutledge Draft — died in 2011.
She and Ringen are part of what she calls “the 20 percent.”
“The 20 percent represents the newly diagnosed patients that are never smokers,” Ringen said. “If you can put a survivor in the stadium and you talk statistics … 1 out of 14 people in this stadium are going to get lung cancer and, based off the statistics, die of lung cancer.”
Ringen was diagnosed in June of 2013 and has battled the disease ever since at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
“So, 50 percent goes to the Chris Draft Family Foundation, which supports research, survivorship and their program. The other 50 percent goes to the winner’s choice. … So mine is going to go to the CU Cancer Center, but within that, specifically the Lung Cancer Colorado Fund,” she said. “Because it’s specifically looking at the research that tries to figure out what are driving these lung cancers.”
Ringen said she is looking for her “miracle” cure, but that she has a terminal diagnosis.
A huge Denver Broncos fan, she jumped at the chance to cross “Super Bowl” off of her bucket list.
“I started the kickoff from my hospital bed, because I just got out of the hospital just a couple of weeks ago. And so I was doing all of this social media campaign from my phone. In and out of surgery, telling all the surgeons, telling everyone about it,” said Ringen, who is $10,000 ahead of second place. “I don’t want to be overly confident because that doesn’t get anyone, anywhere, in case there’s a sleeper. Another Denver person is second, which is good. Go Denver. We’re taking first and second. She has a lovely family and so she deserves to go to either one, as well.”
A second place finish isn’t “too shabby,” Ringen said, because they win a trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Ringen says she hopes she gets to see her beloved broncos on the field.
“I’m going to the football game, I mean the Super Bowl — you guys need to go with me!” she said. “The thing about football, especially after my diagnosis, is it gives me something to cheer for other than myself.”
Ringen says 50 percent of the money she raised will go to the Chris Draft Foundation to support research, survivorship and the Foundation.
And—she is giving the other 50 percent to a cause of her choice. It is going to the Lung Cancer Colorado Fund — a part of the CU Cancer Center.
Kathy Weber, also a local lung cancer survivor, came in second place — raising $8,000. She will go to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii at the end of January. Half of her money will go to the Chris Draft Family Foundation. She also raised money for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in the challenge, so 50 percent will go to that group.