Team Draft Takes Its Mission to Medical Students, Media

Chris Draft played linebacker in the NFL for 13 years, five of them in Atlanta from 2000 to 2005.  He has overcome a lot of obstacles in his life, and he’s zeroing in on what may be his toughest one yet.  Mr. Draft’s wife, Keasha Rutledge Draft passed away nearly a year ago after a tough fight with lung cancer.  Mr. Draft, who graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics, is carrying on Keasha’s battle through his “Changing the Face of Lung Cancer Campaign,” aimed at creating awareness and raising funds for lung cancer research.

He brings intensity and energy to this project that is evident after just a minute in his presence.  On Feb. 28, Mr. Draft spoke to 150 first and second-year medical students from the Emory University School of Medicine.  He talked with them about how important it will be to see their patients as people first, and how honest and open communication makes a great difference in treatment.  The students related to Mr. Draft and his message, and the talk went well beyond the time-limit thanks to many questions and an enthusiastic dialogue. See the Team Draft of one of the Emory students via video on our Vimeo channel.

Scott Kono, MD, assistant professor of hematology and medical oncology at Winship Cancer Institute, served as Keasha’s doctor throughout her battle, and helped to arrange the talk to the students.  He is helping Mr. Draft in his work to generate awareness and help eliminate the stigma that lung cancer is a smoker’s disease.  Mrs. Draft,  who earned a degree in engineering from Clemson, was active, athletic and never smoked.

Dr. Scott Kono, Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University from TEAM DRAFT on Vimeo.

In working to get the word out, Mr. Draft is talking with various news media around the country.  Here in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently featured Dr. Kono and Mr. Draft in an article on hiseducational initiative.  Here is the link:

In addition to the AJC, Mr. Draft recently sat down with Randy Waters from 11 Alive News to talk about his plans for making a difference.  Watch 11 Alive’s special presentation here:

For more information on this important campaign, log on to to learn how you can help beat lung cancer.


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