A photo of four people smiling at the camera, with a football game in a large stadium in the background.

Fox Chase Clinical Trial Patient is Invited to Eagles Home Game

  • Over the last three years, the Chris Draft Family Foundation has been leading a national campaign to change the face of lung cancer.

    A photo of four people smiling at the camera, with a football game in a large stadium in the background.

    Chris Draft, a former NFL linebacker, has devoted much of his time the past three years to raising awareness about lung cancer as a tribute to his wife, Keasha Rutledge Draft. In December, 2010, Keasha went to her doctor after feeling a slight shortness of breath.  She was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.  A former Charlotte Hornets Honeybee dancer and member of Clemson University’s Rally Cat dance squad; Keasha had 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 Chris were committed to raising awareness about lung cancer.  On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side, they launched Team Draft together at their wedding. One month later, Keasha succumbed to her courageous fight.

    “The inspiration of this Foundation is truly Keasha’s legacy,” said Chris. One of the Foundation’s platforms is the Survivor at Every Stadium initiative, which was debuted in November, 2012. Leveraging his unique connections with the NFL, its teams and players, and many of the top cancer centers in the country, Chris and his Foundation arrange for lung cancer survivors to attend games at NFL stadiums across the country.Last year, Chris met Stephanie Dunn Haney at an outreach symposium at Fox Chase Cancer Center for lung cancer survivors. Stephanie, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 39, is a mother of two daughters, and also a non-smoker. She said she felt a connection to Chris immediately because they shared the same goals of raising awareness that lung cancer can strike non-smokers but more importantly, that no one deserves lung cancer, she said. Stephanie has participated in clinical trials at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

    Chris invited Stephanie to be part of his Survivor at Every Stadium initiative.

    “The goal 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,” Chris shared.

    On Monday, November 10, 2014, Stephanie attended the Monday Night Football game in Philadelphia where the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers were competing. Stephanie, who resides in Bloomsburg, PA, made the 2 ½ hour trip with a friend for the game. Chris also invited Hossein Borghaei, MD, Chief of Thoracic Oncology at Fox Chase.

    “It was an amazing experience,” shared Stephanie. “I had never attended a professional football game and from the start of the tailgate, through the entire game, the experience was so memorable for me.”

    Stephanie said the best part is that the Eagles won.  “Being there for the win made the night just perfect,” added Stephanie. “It will be a night I will always treasure.”

    Stephanie also expressed her appreciation to Chris and his commitment to improving and the lives of increasing the survivability for people with lung cancer. “It’s much bigger than a football game. I am grateful to him, his mission, and his commitment to helping us all and honoring his beautiful wife,” Stephanie added.

    Learn more about Chris Draft’s effort and help to Change the Face of Lung Cancer! www.teamdraft.org