Archive for January, 2016

Super Bowl, Pro Bowl Trips For Cancer Patients Who Are Great At Fundraising

Friday, January 8th, 2016

DENVER (CBS4) – The teams have yet to be determined, but one Broncos fan already knows she’s going to the Super Bowl. Another will travel to the Pro Bowl. The trips are prizes for being the top two fundraisers for a very personal cause. The women are fighters. Both have been battling lung cancer.

Kim Ringen, a veterinarian oncologist, discovered she had Stage IV lung cancer in 2013 using an ultrasound in her veterinary office. The nonsmoker was five months pregnant.
“We unfortunately had to let our son go in order to fight for my life,” Ringen said choking back tears.

Figure body builder Kathy Weber is also a neonatal nurse practitioner. In 2014, she learned she had lung cancer. She was shocked.

“Considered a never smoker and no family history of it,” Weber said.

Chris Draft is a former NFL linebacker. When he married his wife, Keasha, she was dying of lung cancer although she had never smoked. She had an idea.

“How about we ask people to support the foundation in the fight against cancer instead of having presents?” Draft said.

he result was “Team Draft” and Chris’ Super Bowl Challenge. Lung cancer survivors compete to raise funds for research. The Denver fans scored big. Weber raised more than $8,000 to win second place and a trip to the Pro Bowl. Ringen raised just over $23,000 and earned the top prize, a trip to the Super Bowl.

“Going to the Super Bowl is the cherry on top, but ultimately what’s keeping me alive is research,” said Ringen.

And these survivors hope to change the face of lung cancer.

Weber said, “There’s a stigma to lung cancer being a quote, “smoker’s disease.”

Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer, Ringen added.

Team Draft is dedicated to tackling it. Half of the money raised goes to the Chris Draft Family Foundation. The lung cancer survivor chooses the recipient of the other half.

Weber has designated the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Ringen has designated Lung Cancer Colorado Fund.

Team Draft’s 2nd Annual Super Bowl Challenge Winners

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

A passion for lung cancer research moved two lung cancer survivors to raise money for the cause. Now with the help of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, one is going to the Super Bowl and the other will head to Hawaii for the NFL Pro Bowl.


Kim Ringen and Kathy Weber have a lot in common. Both live in Colorado, they are both fans of the Denver Broncos and both received treatment at University of Colorado Cancer Center. Kim and Kathy also want to share their stories and so they took part in the 2016 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge sponsored by Team Draft, an initiative of The Chris Draft Family Foundation.


Former NFL linebacker Chris Draft and his wife launched Team Draft at their wedding. Keasha Draft passed away in December 2011 about a year after her stage IV lung cancer diagnosis. The Super Bowl Challenge recruits lung cancer survivors to raise funds to find new ways to combat the disease.


Kim Ringen, DVM, of Denver, won the challenge raising more than $23,000. She was diagnosed with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in May 2013. Since then, she has been busy learning about her cancer and participating in clinical trials through CU Cancer Center. She is passionate about living life to its fullest with her husband and caregiver extraordinaire, Davin, and their family and friends. Ringen, a never-smoker also is quick to point out that anyone “with lungs can get lung cancer.”


Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women worldwide. Approximately 20 percent of new diagnoses are in women who have never smoked.


“Going to Super Bowl 50 will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” says Ringen. “Hopefully we will be rooting for the Broncos! It will be an amazing experience to be in the stands, as we feel the rumble of the crowd.”


Kim believes advances in lung cancer research are keeping her alive so she committed 50 percent of her fundraising efforts to the Lung Cancer Colorado Fund (LCCF). The other 50 percent benefits Team Draft.


“We chose this fund because a lot of lung cancer patients reach out to the Center for consultation as they are one of the leaders in lung cancer research,” says Ringen. “CU Cancer Center offers remote consultation – offering expertise without the patient needing to travel.  We hope the funds impact lung cancer patients not only in Colorado but nationwide.”


Overseen by the physicians and scientists of CU Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Program, LCCF is used to support basic, clinical and translational research, training of the next generation of physician/scientists and patient financial assistance.


“The Super Bowl Challenge achieves some amazing things in terms of public awareness and changing perceptions about lung cancer,” says D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of thoracic oncology at CU Cancer Center. “We are always thankful to be included in the fundraising efforts so we can continue to fight lung cancer in the laboratory and the clinic.”

Ringen initially contacted a group of 15 friends and family by email and asked them to be captains for her team. They then took to social media, mainly Facebook, and posted pictures and Kim’s story to help spread awareness about lung cancer.


“When I think about winning the Super Bowl Challenge – I don’t think that ‘I’ won the challenge,” says Ringen. “I say ‘we’ won the challenge because I could not have reached this goal without my friends and family!”


Lung cancer survivor Kathy Weber, of Kiowa, raised nearly $8,000 to take second place in the Super Bowl Challenge, earning Kathy and her family a trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii on Jan. 31, 2016.


Weber had been training for figure body building competitions when she noticed pushups becoming more difficult, but only on one side. Her physical therapist suggested a trip to the doctor. The lung cancer was discovered in the spring of 2014. Weber had the upper lobe of one of her lungs removed by CU Cancer Center thoracic surgeon Michael Weyant, MD.


“Kathy’s case is another illustration that anyone can get lung cancer, even those never exposed to cigarette smoke,” says Weyant. “Kathy also benefitted from the least invasive, video-assisted approach to the surgery, which allowed her to return to her active lifestyle after the operation.”


Weyant says this was all made possible because the tumor was found in its early stages.


I am very happy to tell you that I am now a lung cancer survivor,” says Weber “I still struggle with breathing when I work out but continue to push myself in the gym. I believe that my physical health and strength contribute to my well-being and helped me with my recovery.”


Half of the money Weber raised will go to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, a global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer.


The fundraising continues until February 7, the day of Super Bowl 50. To donate on behalf of Kim or Kathy, click on their names.