Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Upstate cancer survivors compete in national Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge

James Taylor is thankful. His faith gives him strength and his love for football inspires him.

“I live every day to its fullest,” Taylor said. “My wife and I, we love football.”

He’s a Clemson fan whose part of a new team which fights lung cancer.

“It helps to talk about it,” he said.”It kills more people than any other cancers put together.”

Some of his teammates are also tackling lung cancer. They’re members of a lung cancer support group with Bon Secours Saint Francis Health System in Greenville. Dan Powell started the group back in 2014.

“Ten months later, I’m diagnosed with lung cancer,” Rick Owens said.

He and Powell were good friends.

“I was diagnosed in November 2014,” Owens said. “Cancer is in everything. The environment- could be in your genetic code.”

Powell died on November 15, 2015 and now the support group is also known as the Dan Powell Warriors.

“I was diagnosed November,1998,” Neil Caesar said.

They’re participating in the Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge.

“Cancer survivors may be the people sitting next to you at the football game, may be the people on the field,” Caesar said.

He’s an 18-year lung cancer survivor- a veteran on the team.

“There’s something that’s actually trying to stop you every step of the way,” Caesar said.

They’re tackling lung cancer by raising awareness and money in the Super Bowl Challenge, which Chris Draft, a former NFL linebacker started.

“At the end of the day everyone wins,” Draft said.

He’s the co-founder of Team Draft. His wife Keasha Rutledge Draft, a non-smoker died from lung cancer at 38 years old.

“We kept that battle and stayed with that commitment,” Draft said.

Teams throughout the country compete in the Super Bowl Challenge to raise money for lung cancer research, and the player who raises the most money, gets a ticket to the Super Bowl.

“You’re not just raising for that lung cancer event that is right here, you’re actually raising against somebody else,” Draft said. “It’s essentially Clemson raising against Ohio State- who they’re playing (for a spot to play for the college national championship).

And that’s why Dan Powell’s Warriors need you on their roster.

Money raised from the Super Bowl Challenge will go the lung cancer support group which meets once a month at the Bon Secours Saint Francis Cancer Center in Greenville. To donate click here.

Copyright 2016 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.