Speaking to a crowd of lung cancer survivors and their families at a recent celebratory brunch, former NFL player Chris Draft praised the strength of everyone in the room, and called Jeffrey Schneider, MD, Chief of Oncology/Hematology and the Director of the Lung Cancer Program at Winthrop, a fighter.
"I know this man fights for you every day," said Mr. Draft, who played for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills during a 12-year NFL career.
Mr. Draft founded "Team Draft" after his wife, Lakeasha, a non-smoker, died of lung cancer in 2011 at the age of 38. Now, he makes it his mission to empower survivors to live longer and stronger by changing the face of lung cancer. Bringing together survivors on this special December day was a part of that mission.
Lung cancer survivors gathered with former NFL player and lung cancer advocate Chris Draft (back row, center) and Jeffrey Schneider, MD, Chief of Oncology/Hematology and the Director of the Lung Cancer Program at Winthrop (back row, third from right), for a brunch to celebrate survivorship.
"Every single person here has an incredible story to share," said Dr. Schneider. "Mr. Draft has taken his loss and turned it into a motivation for everyone else."
A celebratory spirit of gratitude spread across Davenport Printing Press, as survivors came together over brunch to share their stories and express thanks to Dr. Schneider and Winthrop's Lung Cancer Program, calling it "the best." One survivor's daughter was brought to tears when she told the room she didn't expect her father with worsening metastatic lung cancer to see her wedding day and how now, more than two years later, he is the very proud grandfather of his 6 month old granddaughter.
Dr. Schneider, too, spoke in awe of the courage and strength each patient and their family brought to their battle with cancer. He also thanked his staff, especially Grace Groser, RN, MSN, OCN, CHPCN, who recently joined his team as Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator, and was instrumental in organizing the brunch.
For more information on Team Draft, visit www.teamdraft.org. For more information on Winthrop's Lung Cancer Program, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org