Team Draft Co-founder Chris Draft Sits Down With CNN’S Don Lemon

Joe Melcher of Patterson California shared his late wife, Sandy, of 32 years battled Staged 4 lung cancer for 17 months.

Frank Halden of Craftsbury Vermont shared “I saw your story on CNN this evening. I would like to congratulate you for your effort. I too lost my wife to lung cancer almost 10 years ago and since then I have been working to help find a cure. Please go to my web site and take a look. This is a team effort and I thank you for your participation. Please go Keep up the great work.”

Jim Capristo of Tunkhannock Pennsylvania shared “Sir just saw your interview on CNN sat 11-17-12. My wife Cindy passed away December 25, 2008 at 5.30am. I helped her lead the fight. I took her to Sloan Kettering the best cancer treatment center in the north. With lung cancer being the slowest painful death, lung cancer sucks. It took my wife. Yes, she smoked like a chimney. She did it her way and would not hear it any other way. We were together almost 12 years. God bless you Chris and all who suffer with this terrible sickness which does not care who you are how, much money you have or you’re age as well as the families who deal with this terrible sickness too.”

Alan Rader of Dauphin Pennsylvania stated “I’m writing to you Chris because I am so inspired with your story. I was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in June, 2009. It was inoperable due to its location and the involvement with my spine at the T1 vertebra. I was treated with the newest forms of highly targeted radiation and the heavy hitters of chemotherapy. The tumor shrunk, died and became a chunk of scar tissue that remains. I go back to the treatment center for periodic scans, blood work and visits with all the team members who took part in this successful journey. Living with the threat of a recurrence and adjusting to the new normal over these past 3-1/2 years has not always been a walk in the park. I have found great solace in meeting other survivors with all sorts of cancers and have a particular affinity with my fellow lung cancer survivors. I have become friends with many and know the pain of losing people we have all befriended. I know that they are all still among us and will remain in our hearts forever. I have and continue to feel every emotion that accompanies this type of diagnoses. True joy is always available in the company of all those who have been affected by this most wicked killer. Lung cancer changed my life dramatically and now I know it has been for the better. I am proud to be able to join you Chris in all your efforts to raise awareness and funding for research to help find answers for all those who suffer now and will in the future. Every survivor’s story is very important to hear and I admire your ability to use your platform to further this cause. I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife and am inspired by your efforts to make sure her loss in the end will benefit many.”

C.R. Evans of Malaoff Texas shared “I have been cancer free for 8 years, 6 months and 15 days! Every day is a new day and a new life. To be told you have lung cancer is about the worst thing that can happen yet I am a survivor.”

Lois Girt of Anderson Indiana stated “After having surgery for colorectal cancer in 2007 in 2008 I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. I started chemo and stayed on chemo until May of this year when my doctor suggested I try this new radio surgery. It is a machine that is able to concentrate radiation doses on the tumor while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. I had five treatments that lasted for one hour each time. I am now in remission. I was listening to CNN and heard your story. I took the treatment at St. Vincent Cancer Center Indianapolis.”

Tricia & Serafino Giambattista of Niagara Falls New York shared “We just watched you on CNN and I am so happy you are standing up for your wife and all Lung Cancer Survivors!” Tricia also stated her husband is a stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer Survivor which was diagnosed on 7/1/11. After 6 rounds of chemo his tumors shrunk 80%. He was then able to have radiation after 30 days. They have been fundraising for Relay For Life for 6 years. This year they had a Prayer Vigil for Lung Cancer Survivors at Church and held a workout fundraiser for Lung Cancer and presented the money at the Breath of Life Celebrate at Roswell Park Cancer Inst. of Buffalo NY, where we go and also spoke on behalf of caretakers. That money was given for funding for early detection. We have pushed to have articles in our local paper and Serafino’s interview was on YNN and Channel 4 of Buffalo NY. Just to see you and hear your story had us in tears. We have so many people wearing pearls and white this month and our local Jeweler turn his store White for November and is teaming up with Roswell for Lung Cancer. We would love to help in any way we can. Chris, you are the Angel of Lung Cancer Survivors, Caretakers and the Angel we have been waiting for, Thank-you and God Bless.”

Rosemary Stone of Easley South Carolina shared “I am a Stage III lung cancer survivor. My sister Margie was diagnosed in 1993 and died within 8 months. My other sister Kathleen was diagnosed in 1994 and died 16 months later. Our only brother Ted, was diagnosed at autopsy, both lungs were full of cancer with metastasis throughout his body. I was diagnosed in Sept. 2008 with a lesion on my right lung and lymph node outside the lung. I have been fighting this disease in honor of my siblings and all who have died from lung cancer. I want desperately to increase the public’s awareness without judgment as to association to smoking. The lack of symptoms prior to end stage carcinoma are nearly nonexistent and the death rates speak for themselves. We must continue to get the word out. With awareness and early detection we can survive.”

Janet Maloof of Sanford North Carolina shared “In 2001 my husband was throwing me an early birthday party during the summer (my birthday is November). He had over 100 people there from my childhood on up. I was sick as a dog on my second course of antibiotics for bronchitis. The day before the NP at my Family Care Physicians office asked me to get a chest x-ray over the weekend to see if there was any pneumonia or something going on. Sunday the day after the party I went to the local hospital for the x-ray. On Tuesday, my doctor’s day off, he called and wanted David and I to stop up to see him as soon as we could that morning. That is when I received the diagnosis of Lung Cancer. On Friday I went for a biopsy (chance of having to spit my sternum to get it) I came out with just a small slice because it had spread to the lymph nodes in my neck. The surgeon explained that it was small cell lung cancer and he would let my oncologist explain the rest when I saw him on Monday. I got the news and the fact that the Mortality rate was 93%; I told the doctor I would change that. Well, it turned out it was small cell lung and lymph node which was wrapped around the pulmonary artery of my heart. This explained my consistently rising blood pressure and the discussion of blood pressure medication. My cancer was inoperable due to the wrapping of the artery and the location. I was treated with Chemo and Radiation at the same time (talk about felling like you have been run over by a bus). Several times I was hospitalized for IV therapy for different reasons. I lost my hair, which didn’t bother me, and on I went. Thanksgiving had always been at our house and I had always done all the cooking and preparation. This year they convinced me to let them do all the work (we averaged 35 people for dinner) I agreed only if I could still help somehow. Dinner was great, not that I ate, but the houseful was wonderful. I had strong family support and a husband like the rock of Gibraltar, but most of all I had been raised with and continued into adulthood with a strong belief in God. After they felt they had all the Cancer obliterated they then did radiation to my brain with each passing year causes more short term memory problems. When I reached my 5yr the doctor hugged me and said that I was not supposed to be one of the four of us treating for lung cancer at the time, but I was. I told him he was a great doctor with the most incredible staff but that the ULTIMATE PHYSICIAN (God) made the decision. Seems he wasn’t done with me yet and as it turned out I have had to help with raising my grandchildren. If I can say one thing, don’t ever give up hope. Also, talk about what is going on. I educated every visitor I had about my disease and the treatment. Today as soon as I hear someone has Cancer I give the person who told me my personal business card to be passed on to the patient and tell them if they want to talk call me. It is now 11 years and I was so happy to see this on CNN tonight and find out there was a group out there. These past two weeks I have been talking to my friends about researching how to start something for Lung Cancer.”

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