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Friday, December 14, 2018

The Chris Draft Family Foundation’s Promise

Chris Draft and his wife, Keasha

Chris Draft and his wife, Keasha

Nationwide — Chris Draft’s life seemed picture perfect, and it was. He played college football in Stanford and moved on to play professionally with the Chicago Bears, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Atlanta Falcons. When he met Keasha Rutledge, the woman who would later become his wife, he had thought only of their long life together.

When she received the diagnosis that she had Stage IV lung cancer, everything changed. They found themselves battling against this vicious disease, and though Keasha was tremendously brave, after a year of treatments and struggle, she passed away.

What shocked Chris was how unexpected Keasha’s diagnosis was and how quickly she deteriorated. The misinformation surrounding the prevalence of lung cancer and who it affects stunned Chris, and prompted him to re-evaluate his understanding of the disease. He found out that lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, and liver cancer combined, and nearly 60% of people who are diagnosed with this disease have never smoked or are neither former smokers. Lung cancer can affect anyone, and the survival rate is incredibly low – the 5-year survival rate is just 17% compared to 89% for breast cancer.

The Chris Draft Family Foundation is a local and national organization that seeks to improve the public’s understanding of lung cancer through empowerment, education, and self-awareness. The foundation’s most popular initiative, Team Draft, is a campaign to raise lung cancer awareness through events such as the Super Bowl Challenge. This year’s Super Bowl Challenge awards the top three fundraisers with trips to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando, and the Taste of the NFL in Atlanta. Fundraisers who raise over $5,000 dollars can designate a beneficiary cancer organization to receive 80% of the raised funds.

On his website, Chris explains that fundraising around the Super Bowl allows him to use the extensive media coverage to promote the public’s awareness of lung cancer prevention, early detection, and medical research. Join the Chris Draft Family Foundation today to spread his message of hope to the 1 in 16 Americans like Keasha who will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.