Paul Kalanithi - Super Bowl
Dan Powell - Pro Bowl
Samantha Mixon - Taste of the NFL
Team Draft's Super Bowl Challenge gives lung cancer survivors the opportunity to compete against one another to raise funds in support of our National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer--a campaign dedicated to raising public awareness about the true nature of the disease and shattering the misconception that lung cancer is just a "smoker's disease."
The lung cancer survivors, whose Teams raise the most money by January 1, 2015, will represent Team Draft in Arizona. The winners will receive airfare for 2 and hotel accommodations for 4 nights.
The winner and their guest will attend the Taste of the NFL, on January 31, 2015 and Super Bowl XLIX (49), on February 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
The runner up and their guest will attend the 2015 Pro Bowl on January 25, 2015.
The 2nd runner-up and their guest will attend the Taste of the NFL on January 31, 2015.
In December 2010, Keasha Rutledge Draft was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer when she went to her doctor after feeling a slight shortness of breath a few days earlier. As a former Charlotte Hornets Honeybee dancer and member of Clemson University’s Rally Cat dance squad, Keasha was an energetic, vibrant young woman who never smoked and was the picture of health at the time of her diagnosis. Despite the diagnosis and knowing the long odds they faced, Keasha and her husband, former NFL linebacker, Chris Draft decided to fight back. On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side, they launched Team Draft together at their wedding. One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight. (https://vimeo.com/37410459)
Over the last three years, the Chris Draft Family Foundation has been leading a national campaign to change the face of lung cancer. Our signature Survivor Series is the centerpiece of that Campaign. While the Survivor Series has become a powerful tool in the fight to raise lung cancer awareness, this year we are taking that initiative to the next level by creating a funding challenge centered on the biggest event in sports—the Super Bowl.
The Survivor Series is an outgrowth of our Survivor at Every Stadium initiative, which we debuted in November 2012 on CNN during a nationally-televised prime time special focusing on lung cancer and our National Campaign. Leveraging our unique connections with the NFL, its teams and players, and many of the top cancer centers in the country, we arranged for lung cancer survivors to attend games at NFL stadiums across the country during the last two months of the 2012-2013 season. The initiative proved to be an immediate and overwhelming success. By the time this first “national celebration of survivorship” concluded at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, survivors from 30 different cancer centers and nearly every NFL team had participated.
Given the success of our inaugural Survivor at Every Stadium program, in its second year, we expanded the initiative to create the Survivor Series by branching out beyond the NFL to the NBA and NHL, among others. We also enhanced the Survivor at Every Stadium initiative by adding the NFL’s International Series in London, specially designated lung cancer awareness games at home, and a national media tour, which resulted in more than 35 national and local media placements, reaching more than 13 million people.
The goal of the Survivor Series is not only to create a unique experience for participating survivors, but to raise awareness on a local and national level by using each game and each survivor’s story to weave a broader narrative about the state of lung cancer and the hope that now exists for those battling the disease thanks to new detection techniques and innovative treatments. This year, we have increased our ability to achieve those goals by adding the Super Bowl Challenge, which builds on the success of the Survivor Series by using the games at the heart of that initiative to create buzz for the Challenge. (https://vimeo.com/68178658)
The survivors and physicians battling lung cancer face a unique challenge due in large part to the fact that “lung cancer carries a stigma almost unheard of with any other deadly disease, hindering the unconditional support and investment of resources afforded to patients with other serious conditions.” This stigma is the result of the widely held belief that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease”—a misconception that “researchers and advocates agree . . . contributes to the underfunding of research on the disease.” Team Draft’s Super Bowl Challenge is designed to address the research funding gap and “smoker’s disease” stigma by attacking the underlying problem of a lack of public awareness about lung cancer.
The Super Bowl Challenge presents a unique opportunity to use the overwhelming media coverage surrounding the Super Bowl as a platform to raise critical public awareness about lung cancer on an international level. A comprehensive public relations and media campaign using the game as a backdrop will allow us to talk about the true nature and state of lung cancer in a context in which such subjects are not ordinarily discussed and in front of a broad and varied audience that might not otherwise be exposed to stories about lung cancer or the important work being done in research facilities and cancer centers across the country to fight the disease.
It takes a team to tackle cancer, and we are pleased to invite you to join Team Draft in our fight to raise lung cancer awareness by taking part in this exclusive fundraising challenge!
Donate now to a Lung Cancer Survivor's Team or donate directly to the Chris Draft Family Foundation to support our National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer.
Team Draft, an initiative of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a "smoker's disease." The fact is, anybody can get lung cancer. Yet, despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha Rutledge Draft—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases. Team Draft is out to change all that. "If we can take away the stigma that says you have to be a smoker to get lung cancer, we have a real chance to educate people about the true nature of the disease," explains Draft.
Since Chris and Keasha launched Team Draft at their wedding in November of 2011, Team Draft has been on a mission to tackle cancer. Team Draft’s national campaign to raise public awareness and share the hope that now exists for those diagnosed with the disease has taken it to over 70 of the top cancer research and treatment facilities in North America.
"Our hope is not only to positively impact research funding, but to improve the quality of life for those affected by lung cancer," says Draft. “We aren’t fighting against lung cancer, we're fighting for people. That’s why we are leading this national campaign to change the face of lung cancer." The Facts About Lung Cancer: For decades, the facts regarding lung cancer have been sobering:
Anyone can get lung cancer.
Over 60% of lung cancers are diagnosed in people who never smoked or in former smokers.
Lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the #1 cancer killer for women in 1987.
Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer, and takes more lives than breast, cervical, and prostate cancers... combined.
The five year survival rate for lung cancer is just 16% - a rate that has changed very little since the 1970's.
But now there is HOPE! The use of state-of-the-art lung cancer screening techniques is reducing mortality rates by 20% in some patient groups# while cutting-edge team-based, multidisciplinary treatment procedures are improving the quality of life for lung cancer patients across the country. And thanks to advances in molecular tumor mutation testing, researchers and treating physicians are developing effective personal lung cancer treatments designed to extent and, ultimately, save lives. The key to making even greater strides is funding, but funding for lung cancer research is impacted by the “smoker’s disease” stigma. That’s why Team Draft is campaigning to change the face of lung cancer.
About The Chris Draft Family Foundation and Team Draft
The Chris Draft Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering families to live healthy lifestyles. The Foundation focuses on several initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline, and physical fitness. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.chrisdraftfamilyfoundation.org.
Through its Team Draft initiative, the Foundation is carrying on Keasha’s fight to tackle cancer by promoting awareness, research, and scholarship and to save lives by changing the face of lung cancer. Team Draft is dedicated to raising awareness, accelerating research for a cure, and giving hope, comfort, and inspiration to the patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers who are battling the disease every day. To learn more about Team Draft, share your story, and respond and donate, please visit www.teamdraft.org. You can follow the national campaign to change the face of lung cancer on our blog at www.thedraftreport.net, and don’t forget to "Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamDraft.