Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Lung Cancer Survivor Raises Thousands For Research, Wins Super Bowl Trip

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) – A young father from Denver with advanced lung cancer is pumped to be going to the Super Bowl! He won the trip after raising nearly $50,000 to fund lung cancer research in Colorado. Matt Arensdorf and his wife, Jen, raised that money in just two months. It will help advance the treatment of lung cancer and it is an investment in Arensdorf’s future.

In early 2016, life was good for Arensdorf.
“32 years old, 3 month old baby, everything was perfect, really,” he told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh. Then Arensdorf noticed vision problems. Tests showed tumors in his brain. “Everything kind of comes crashing to a halt,” he said. It was cancer that started in the nonsmoker’s lungs — stage 4.
“Anybody with lungs can get lung cancer,” said Arensdorf.

At the University of Colorado Cancer Center, he has had radiation, brain surgery, and two targeted therapies. His cancer isn’t curable, but he is a two-year survivor. “It’s the research and the new drugs that are keeping me going,” Arensdorf said.

He and his wife, Jen, are helping. The two teamed up with former NFL linebacker, Chris Draft. “My wife, Keasha, was 37 years old,” said Draft. Keasha was 37 when she died of lung cancer. Now, Draft holds a Super Bowl challenge. Lung cancer survivors raise funds for research. “With more research, we’re going to save more lives,” said Draft.

The Arensdorfs raised nearly $50,000 for the Lung Cancer Colorado Fund. They scored a trip to the Super Bowl but, most importantly, they tackled the development of future treatments “We know that money’s going to have an impact and we need an impact,” said Jen. “His (Matt’s) future’s dependent on it.”

Draft formed Team Draft and kicked off his challenge 4 years ago, raising $20,000. This year, the tally is $123,000 and growing.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.