Archive for the ‘A Survivor at Every Sports Venue’ Category

A Survivor at Every Game: The Carolina Panthers Support The Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer During Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Tomma Hargraves was first diagnosed with Stage III B Non-small cell lung cancer in November of 2006.  After undergoing an aggressive clinical trial at the NC Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, she was in remission for 3 years.  At that time, she had a recurrence with lymph node involvement and a brain lesion.  Again, treatment was successful and she recently celebrated her 6th year of survivorship.

Ms. Hargraves has been active in lung cancer advocacy for nearly 6 years, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership and on advisory boards for Access TLC and the Carolina Well program.  She is an active participant in the Free to Breathe 5K event as well as the Free to Breathe golf tournament.

Tomma Hargraves is the Lead Speech-Language Pathologist for the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington and her Master’s from Southern Connecticut State University.

Ms. Hargraves has one son who is an Emergency Medicine physician at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and is married to “Santa” Bob Hargraves.  They live in Raleigh with Finley the Wonder Dog. Respond and Donate Today as Team Draft’s National Campaign is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer !

Patty Kuzara is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer in Buffalo, New York

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

My name is Patty Kuzara. I am a wife and mother, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a niece and I just happen to have Stage IV Lung Cancer. But I am so much more than that:

  • I am a wife. My husband Jay and I have been married for 21 years. We met in 1988 and got married three years later. Our life together has certainly been an adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  • I am a mother.  I love being a mama.  I have three children, Austin (17) and Kayla and Kaitlyn (12).  I am a typical mom. I run from tae kwon do to dancing, back to tae kwon do, oooops, now drama club, gotta throw hockey in there. Hey don’t forget about that project and…what do you mean you have 3 birthday parties next week!  LOL   I know you know what I’m talking about.  Love them!
  • I am a daughter. My dad is a trip.  He makes me laugh every time we are together. You just never know what’s going to come out of his mouth.  My step-mom is very sweet.  She loves her grand kids and never has anything bad to say about anyone. They have been married for over 20 years too.  (My mom died of lung cancer in 1998 as did my step-dad of a heart attack)
  • I am a friend.  I can say that the friendships I’ve made over my lifetime have remained.  I may not see everyone like I used to, but we all still love each other.  I truly don’t know how I became so blessed, but I’ll take it. I love them with all my heart.
  • I am a martial artist. I am currently a First Degree Red Belt in Tae Kwon Do. It’s a journey and anything worthwhile takes time. For now, slow and steady wins the race! I will get that Black Belt!
  • I am a singer.  Yes I love to sing. I think I probably sang before I could talk. Then again….I can talk. LOL Singing is one of my favorite things to do with my girls.
  • I am full of life.  One thing I can say is that I love life. I love to laugh and play and just enjoy everyday. I enjoy each season.  I am a Buffalo girl, so I love the winter.  If you hear someone yelling while sledding down the bunny hill, its probably me.
Respond and Donate Today! Remember IT TAKES A TEAM TO TACKLE LUNG CANCER

Patty Kuzara is Tackling Lung Cancer! from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

Brian Kissinger is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer!

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

My name is Brian Kissinger. In February of 2010, I was unbelievably diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I had come down with a bad case of pneumonia, and rushed to the hospital. I was terrified because my son, Braydon was only a few months old, and I didn’t want to get him sick too. After suffering from a constant cough for over a year, that was diagnosed as asthma, I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital. The CT tech, and the doctor on call, chased me down as I was leaving. They wanted to run some more tests. The tech tried to calm me with “I’m sure it’s nothing,” but the look on the doctor’s face said otherwise. After a battery of tests and procedures, my doctor called and apologized, that he had to tell me, I had cancer. I had a rare type of Lung Cancer, and it’s stage IV. At 33, healthy and someone who had never smoked, I was so shocked, I didn’t even understand what he was telling me. I had to have him spell the type of cancer four times, I couldn’t even seem to write it down correctly.

That is where the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation comes in. Through my family, I found another family, and a foundation who is entirely dedicated to fighting lung cancer. Bonnie, a eight year survivor, of lung cancer, works tirelessly to educate patients, and eradicate lung cancer. They have helped me confirm my choices of doctors, and even confirm treatments I have been prescribed.

Now, I am approaching three years, since my diagnosis, and I am feeling great. I have been in treatment for almost all of those three years. I am on my third line of treatment. I take a little pill two times a day. This pill was not even available as an option at the time of my diagnosis. Since then, this pill, Afinitor, has replaced my chemo infusions and kept me stable for a year and a half. All of this, with little to no side effects.

I have an entirely different mindset now. Cancer has changed every aspect of my life, not in a lot of ways you might think, though. I am very aware of how great my life is now. There are incredible things, happening everyday all around you. You just have to slow down and take a look for them.

I am doing everything I possibly can to beat lung cancer. So MY family and friends never have to fight this disease. So YOUR family and friends never have to fight this disease. It is important to me to fight to support other patients, in the fight of their lives. I fight in memory of some of the most incredible people I have ever met. I fight to make everyone very aware that ANYONE WHO BREATHES, can get lung cancer.

Brian Kissinger is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer! from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.