Posts Tagged ‘lung cancer’

Michael Hanley, MD, University of Virginia Healthcare

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Michael Hanley, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging
Division of Body Imaging

M.D. Degree: University of Virginia School of Medicine 2006
Residency: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (Diagnostic Radiology)
Fellowship: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA (Non-Invasive Cardiovascular)
ABMS Certification: Diagnostic Radiology
Clinical Practice: Radiology: Cancer: Interventional Radiology Vascular Diseases

Michael Hanley, MD, University of Virginia Healthcare from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

Keasha Rutledge Draft

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Dance ~ Smile ~ Live

Dance ~ Smile ~ Live

Lakeasha (Keasha) Monique Rutledge Draft, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia departed this earth on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

Born on May 13, 1973 to Tommy and Gail Rutledge in Anderson, South Carolina, she was always a shining star while she attended the Palmetto schools of Anderson District One, and graduated a year early with honors. Keasha was a faithful member of her family church New Prospect Baptist Church of Williamston, SC. Always active and ambitious, Keasha participated in many organizations from National Honor Society to earning the title of captain on the varsity cheerleading squad. She was known for her phenomenal dancing ability, although her track and field accomplishments were stellar also, as she placed first in the high jump at the state meet every year from seventh through twelfth grade. She still holds the school record for high jump. As a Clemson University student, she was a well-loved classmate, dancer for the Rallycats and was inducted into the Lambda Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in the Spring of 1992. Keasha received her Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University in 1995. She began her career in engineering for Cutler-Hammer. Keasha was an NBA dancer and beloved teammate for the Charlotte Hornets Honeybees. She began working as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Sanofi-Aventis in Charlotte and transferred to Atlanta, Georgia where she worked until her illness transpired. On November 27, 2011, she married her long-time sweetheart, Christopher Draft.

Keasha leaves to cherish beautiful memories her loving husband, Chris Draft; parents, Tommy and Gail Rutledge; parents-in-law, Anthony and Rose Draft; maternal grandmother, Wilma Clement; paternal grandmother, Synola Rutledge; and a host of relatives and friends.

In honor of Keasha’s admirable vibrant spirit, celebrate each day, dance often, smile, laugh, and embrace life.

~MUAH. Peace.

Keasha Rutledge Draft–Changing the Face of Lung Cancer from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

Montessa Lee is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

On the D.C. leg of Team Draft’s East Coast nationwide tour, we met Montessa Lee of Silver Spring, Maryland.  In 2006, she experienced chest pain, followed by shortness of breath and a cough.  A non-smoker, the cause of her problem bewildered doctors, who ultimately diagnosed her following a chest x-ray that confirmed she had advanced small cell lung cancer.

From Self Magazine‘s Lung Cancer Report:

“Anyone who has lungs can get lung cancer,” Montessa Lee stresses. She hopes her case will serve as a wake-up call for medical practition­ers to learn to look beyond their assumptions when making a diagnosis, which is why she recently completed training to speak at National Lung Cancer Partnership events. The organization’s Look Deeper campaign aims to make women aware of the signs and prevalence of lung cancer—knowledge that, until better screens or a cure are discovered, is our most powerful weapon in fighting the disease.

Read more of Montessa’s story at Self Magazine‘s website.

Montessa Lee, Lung cancer survivor from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

15 year old Lung Cancer Survivor Abby Wilson

Monday, January 21st, 2013

I’m Abby. I am 15 yrs. old. I have a rare form of pediatric lung cancer. But cancer is not who I am. I am a brave and strong girl. God has given me the BEST family & friends. I love to play with my little brother, Ian. He is 6 years old. He makes me laugh & forget that I have sick lungs. I get scared sometimes. But I know that I have to trust God no matter what.

Background Story

Abby is amazing!! She makes me want to be the mother that God has called me to be. We found out that Abby was born with a rare disorder, C.C.P.M., Congenital Cystic Pulmonary malformation. In most cases this type of cyst is large enough to see and is discovered very early on in pregnancy(between 7-34 weeks gestation). It is removed after birth and the child is fine. This is not the case for Abby. She was born with a tumor that was small enough to go undetected and until 5 years ago, didn’t cause any problems. The asthma that we had been treating since she was 3 was actually this disease. C.C.P.M. is normally removed and there are no further problems. In even more rare cases, like Abby, when C.C.P.M. is not found and treated it can then become Bronchoalveolar Carcinoma or B.A.C. (that’s what the doctors call it). In order for B.A.C. to appear, C.C.P.M. has to be present. B.A.C. in children appears favorable, meaning they should only need surgery to cure it. However, that is not the case for Abby. Here is where the complications come in. Our oncologist, Dr. Rapkin, had all the pathology samples sent to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP, in Washington, D.C. for review and they found that the larger mass is actually another form of cancer called Mucinous Adenocarcinoma. This is more aggressive than B.A.C. Meaning that this one mass has moved from a stage 1 non aggressive type of cancer to a stage 4 more aggressive type. It has started to infiltrate the surrounding tissue of the lung. This infiltration was found to be minor, in the beginning stage. But the cancer has spread to the right lung resulting in more than 30 tumors in both lungs. Abby has undergone several surgeries since April 2007,one in which her lower left lung was removed leaving her with only 1/4 of a functioning lung and in October 2007 she began intensive chemo treatments and continues to this day. In 2008 we found out that Abby’s cancer is caused by the K-Ras mutation gene which just complicates our journey more. This gene makes her Lung Cancer more resistant to treatment. The road ahead is long and confusing for us all. Abby is a trooper. Her smile reminds us that God is good. He is the one who holds our future and our hope. Abby’s life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future.” We live by these words… God’s promise of a HOPE & a FUTURE for our Abby!

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:33-34). *** A friend has set up a medical fund for Abby at Piedmont Community Bank. All donations are to help with travel to Scottish Rite in Atlanta & medical cost that insurance doesn’t cover. If you feel lead, donations can be made checks payable to ‘Abby Wilson Medical Fund ‘ to- 315 River North Blvd Macon, GA. 31211. Thank you in advance for your gifts of love!!!!!

Abby Wilson is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer! from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

Team Draft Brings our Campaign Against Lung Cancer to Jefferson

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

During 12 years as a linebacker in the NFL, Chris Draft faced lots of tough opponents.

But after losing his young wife to lung cancer last year, Draft is taking on the disease that will be diagnosed in an estimated 226,000 Americans this year. Like many of those who develop lung cancer Keasha Rutledge Draft never smoked.

Last week, Draft was at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson as part of his campaign to raise lung cancer awareness and increase research funding for the disease that takes the lives of more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer combined. So far, Draft has visited almost 50 cancer centers in the United States

Meeting with Richard G. Pestell, MD, PhD, director of Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center, oncologists Barbara Campling, MD, and Russell J. Schilder, MD, Draft emphasized the importance of the ongoing research into finding effective treatments for lung cancer.

And, meeting with patients at Jefferson, Draft noted that lung cancer sometimes gets overlooked by the public because it is so closely associated with smoking. But many lung cancer patients, like Keasha, were never smokers.

“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,” Draft said.

The specialists of Jefferson’s Thoracic Oncology Program offer a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to treatment that continually evaluates patients through the entire course of treatment. The Program is at the forefront of using new drugs and innovative combinations of radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy to improve the outcomes for patients with every type of lung cancer.

For those at high risk of developing lung cancer Jefferson offers a Lung Cancer Screening Program that provides a low-cost, one-day, state-of-the-art screening.

The Program is one of the first in the region aimed at increasing early detection rates and treatment outcomes and works in conjunction with Jefferson’s Lung Nodule Clinic to evaluate those patients whose screening detects a “spot on the lung” or nodule.

Team Draft would like to say thanks to Jefferson for allowing our national campaign to come and see the work that is needed to Change the Face of Lung Cancer. Respond and Donate Today!

Where There’s No Smoke???

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Where There’s No Smoke
By Bob Hecker

A greater proportion of lung cancer patients are never-smokers. It’s a different disease and may require different therapy.

If 85 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the United States are linked to smoking tobacco, what’s behind the 10 to 15 percent of cases involving people who never smoked?

Medical scientists aren’t sure, but what they do know is that lung cancer in never-smokers is a biologically distinct disease from lung cancer in smokers, and one that sometimes can be treated differently with therapy targeting specific gene mutations.
“In the past decade, researchers have begun studying subtle biological differences in the lung tumors of smokers and of those who have never smoked,” says Gregory Otterson, MD, a medical oncologist and lung cancer specialist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James). Otterson says carcinogens in cigarette smoke cause gene mutations that are often different from those found in lung tumors of people who have never smoked.
Read More

Team Draft: Notes From the National Campaign Trail

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Sunday, May 13th would have been Keasha’s 39th birthday.  Team Draft marked the occasion by kicking off a week-long bicoastal tour in support of our national campaign to change the face of lung cancer.  The tour took Team Draft to our 30th cancer treatment facility, to the set of Dancing With The Stars, and to Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers.  And none of this would have been possible without the generation support and donations of people like you.  Please help us continue the campaign by making a donation today:

 Finding HOPE on the West Coast

 Team Draft began the tour in Southern California.  On Monday, we had the opportunity to sit down with the newly-appointed Director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego, Dr. Scott Lippman.  And on Wednesday, Team Draft achieved a major milestone when we visited our 30th cancer treatment facility since launching the national campaign: USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thanks to cutting-edge research like that being performed at these state-of-the-art facilities, for the first time in decades, there is hope in the fight against lung cancer.

Applying revolutionary genomic approaches, researchers have now identified the molecular changes in certain genes that cause some lung cancer tumors to grow.  This discovery opens the door for the development of targeted drugs designed to stop tumor growth in its tracks by interfering with the growth receptors in these mutated genes.  These new targeted drug therapies are extending the lives of some patients by several months, and in some cases, even years.

The key to making even greater strides (and ultimately saving lives) is funding, but funding for lung cancer research is impacted by the stigma that it is a “smoker’s disease.”  The truth is, anybody can get lung cancer—a fact underscored on Thursday by the tragic death from lung cancer of disco legend Donna Summers, who was a non-smoker like Keasha.  That’s why Team Draft is campaigning to change the face of lung cancer and to raise public awareness.  Thankfully, we are not alone.

Before leaving the West Coast, Team Draft visited the set of Dancing With The Stars to show our support for the show’s lung cancer awareness efforts.  This season, DWTS Pros Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya performed a tribute dance in honor their friend and fellow ballroom dancer, Julia Ivleva, who is in the middle of her own battle with Stage IV Lung Cancer.  Jonathan, Anna, and Julia embody the dance, smile, and live philosophy, and Team Draft thanks DWTS for helping to shine a light on lung cancer.

Raising AWARENESS on the East Coast

 After completing the West Coast leg of the tour, Team Draft headed to back to the East Coast.  We concluded the tour on Saturday by taking part in two events to raise awareness and funding for cancer research in Keasha’s adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Team Draft began the day at Charlotte’s Park Road Park where Chris addressed a crowd of lung cancer survivors, advocates, and supporters at The North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership’s inaugural Free to Breathe 5K and Rally. The event raised money for lung cancer research and advocacy.

After the Rally, Team Draft headed to Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers.  As a Panther’s linebacker, Chris used to come to the Stadium to tackle opposing quarterbacks.  On Saturday, Team Draft was there to tackle cancer by participating in the Keep Pounding 5K Stadium Run in support of the Panther’s Keep Pounding Fund and pediatric cancer research at Levine Children’s Hospital.

Team Draft’s national campaign to change the face of lung cancer would not be possible without support from people like you.  Your donation will help ensure that we can continue to raise public awareness of the true nature of the disease and increase the funding needed to tackle it.

To learn more about Team Draft, share your story, and respond and donate, visit  You can follow the national campaign to change the face of lung cancer on our blog at, and don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook at , and also

Changing the Face of Lung Cancer: Keasha Rutledge Draft

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Keasha Rutledge Draft

May 13, 1973 – December 27, 2011

Lakeasha Monique Rutledge Draft passed away on Tuesday, December 27.  She courageously faced lung cancer, showing us all with every breath that we all need to hold onto life and love with both hands for as long as we can.  Not just an inspiration, but a light, and a force that led the way with a beautiful, sweet smile and bright shining eyes that both belied the pure steel of her strength and determination.

Strong is too pale, too shallow and too small of a word to describe Keasha’s vibrancy… Quite simply, she was ferocious. She fiercely held onto life, and love with a forcefulness that was absolutely awe-inspiring and completely breathtaking. Rest in peace, Mrs. Draft.

A Celebration of Keasha Rutledge Draft’s life will be held on Saturday, December 31st, 1pm at Calvary Baptist Church in Williamston, South Carolina.  She will be laid to rest following the Celebration at New Prospect Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for support of Team Draft, the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s tribute to Keasha.  Team Draft was created by Chris and Keasha during her year-long struggle with lung cancer in hopes that her valiant fight to live, love, laugh and smile will give hope and comfort to people across the world.  Chris and Keasha, the Draft and Rutledge families, friends and loved ones ask for your support, and love, and thank you for joining Team Draft… because it takes a Team to tackle cancer!

Donations to Team Draft can be made via the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s website or via mail to the Foundation’s Atlanta office.


Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Janine Gauthier, PhD, Rush University Cancer Integrative Medicine

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Cancer care at Rush thrives on the close integration of patient care and innovative research designed to move quickly from the laboratory bench to the bedside. For patients at risk for lung cancer, low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) offers the opportunity to screen for the presence of early stage tumors on the lungs. While this is a major advance in screening options, it presents significant challenges to physicians who face tough diagnosis and treatment decisions. LDCT scans are expensive, cannot distinguish benign from cancerous nodules, and, through excessive radiation exposure, may actually increase the cancer risk for patients requiring regular screening.

A simple and cost-effective blood test being developed in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Borgia and his colleagues at the Rush Thoracic-Oncology Research Group has the potential to address these challenges and serve as an effective complement to CT scanning. In even the earliest stages of lung cancer, tumors release specific molecules into the blood that differ from those shed by benign nodules. These molecules can range from circulating factors that help regulate tissue metabolism to components of an unsuccessful immune response to the tumor. Dr. Borgia’s team has devised a way to use these molecules to identify a fingerprint that gives important information about each patient’s condition to the physician, ideally allowing for a more timely and accurate diagnosis.

For patients, the benefits are clear. Those with a family history of lung cancer or who are deemed high risk can be evaluated regularly with this blood test without prolonged exposure to radiation. Patients whose LDCT scans show indeterminate nodules can follow up with the blood test to determine if cancer is present. This allows patients who are negative for cancer to avoid invasive biopsies or unnecessary surgeries, and it is far less risky and worrisome than taking a “wait and see” approach as to whether the nodule grows.

Ongoing research also holds the promise of developing a second convenient, low-cost test that offers physicians additional information that will guide treatment and improve patient outcomes. This includes predicting whether the cancer is metastatic, where it is likely to spread, and what type of chemotherapy may benefit a particular patient. Approximately 25% of patients with a single lung tumor die of disease recurrence within five years of surgery, making this a particularly critical area for research. Dr. Borgia is devoting substantial resources to addressing this significant limitation to current diagnostics. If successful, this test will help the surgeons identify which patients may benefit from more aggressive postoperative care as a means to improve survival.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, but Dr. Borgia’s program to develop effective and inexpensive screening tests is well positioned to enable physicians to catch the disease early, treat it most effectively, and most importantly, save lives. With clinical trials on the horizon, this new tool may be just a few years away from reducing lung cancer mortality. Respond and Donate

From CBS42: Team Draft Co-Founder Chris Draft tours UAB Cancer Center

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – On April 5th, 2012 former NFL linebacker Chris Draft toured UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is currently under construction.

Seeing one of the nation’s leading cancer research and treatment centers in transition is just what someone like Draft would want to see.

Chris and his wife Lakeasha Rutledge Draft created “Team Draft” less than one year ago, during Keasha’s battle with lung cancer. The organization was started in hopes that her fight to live would give hope atnd comfort others around the world. They came up with the idea during their wedding, in which she was in a wheelchair and had to use oxygen.

Keasha passed away on December 27th, 2011, just one month after the couple married. She was 38 and a non-smoker.

With an ipad in hand, Chris Draft walked the halls of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center with its director Edward Partridge, removing the pink cover from the ipad each time the group stopped to take a photo reveiling a picture of his vibrant wife.

With his wife still by his side, Draft continues to fight. He has been touring cancer centers around the world to help encourage patients, doctors and researchers to continue the fight.

Respond and DONATE at