Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Lung cancer survivor wins trip to Pro Bowl

Lung cancer survivor wins trip to Pro Bowl

Posted: Jan 31, 2016 10:13 PM EST Updated: Feb 21, 2016 10:14 PM EST

In 2006, former NFL Linebacker Chris Draft established the Chris Draft Family Foundation to empower people to live healthy lifestyles. In November 2011 on their wedding day, he and his wife Keasha who was diagnosed with lung cancer launched Team Draft, an initiative of the foundation. Keasha lost her battle with lung cancer a month later.

“She cared about people. She loved them and wanted it to be authentic, and that’s what it has to be about,” said Draft.

Then came Team Drafts Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge.

Lung cancer survivor Kathy Weber of Kiowa, Colorado raised more than $9,000 to help spread awareness. She took second place earning her a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. She hopes other cancer survivors will take the same challenge.

“We’re a family. Everyone needs to come together. Every lung cancer survivor needs to come together to be part of this wave of spreading the news and educating the community,” said Weber.

This is her first trip to Hawaii.  On day one she went on an inspirational hike with Karen Latzka, a local lung cancer survivor.

“Seeing her being six years out gave me a lot of hope for myself being 18 months out,” said Weber.

As a runner-up in the Super Bowl Challenge, Weber feels she now has a responsibility to continue educating people about lung cancer.

“How do I use that? How do I represent myself to be, as I said, an ambassador to help spread the word about early detection and living a healthy life?” she said.

Draft, who spent 13 years in the NFL, sees himself as a Super Bowl Challenge Winner each year – but the prize is seeing the results of his work.

“I get to see life, energy, and then give them more energy,” he said.

The prognosis looks good, and Weber says her and her family will return to Hawaii for vacation.

“It’s been amazing. The Aloha Spirit that’s here in Hawaii is phenomenal,” said Weber.

The winner of the Super Bowl Challenge was Kim Ringen who is also from Colorado. She raised more than $23,000, earning her a trip to next Sunday’s Super Bowl.