Anyone who has watched an NFL game during October is probably aware that the month is known as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”It’s hard to miss with all of the pink that finds its way unto player uniforms and television graphics. The NFL does a thorough job of informing its audiences of the impact that breast cancer can have on its victims.
What’s not as well known is that November is “Lung Cancer Awareness Month.” According to lung.org:
We also recognize that lung cancer carries a stigma related to the perception that all people with lung cancer are or were smokers and that they brought it on themselves. While the leading risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, the American Lung Association emphasizes that patients must not be blamed for their disease. The stigma associated with smoking and cancer becomes a major barrier to addressing the needs of persons diagnosed with lung cancer and their caregivers. This unnecessary stigma impacts how lung cancer is viewed by patients, their family members and caregivers, health providers, and the public in general. The bottom line is that no one deserves lung cancer – and we must defeat the stigma to defeat the disease.
The American Lung Association believes that creating awareness about the realities of lung cancer through education and advocacy will help reduce the stigma and create a sense of urgency that will bring lung cancer to the forefront. We are also training staff and volunteers nationwide in effective messages to lessen the stigma of lung cancer.
Former NFL linebacker Chris Draft is working to raise awareness about lung cancer. He’ll be in Tennessee on November 10 (Titans vs. Jaguars) to honor local Tennessean lung cancer survivors on the field and at the game as part of his “Survivor at Every Stadium” initiative. The Titans are joining Draft in building awareness, giving hope and spotlighting the important work being done in lung cancer research and treatment.
Lung cancer claims the lives of more than 159,000 people each year – that’s almost two times the number of fans expected to be at LP Field on Sunday. Yet, most people don’t realize that it’s the biggest cancer killer. Draft is working to raise awareness by sharing the facts about lung cancer this November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
In 2010, Chris’ wife Keasha was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer after never smoking a day in her life. On their wedding day, they launched Team Draft, which is dedicated to dispelling the stigma that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight at age 38. The fact is anyone can get lung cancer, including up to 30,000 people each year who have never smoked, and treatment advances are changing the lives of those tackling the disease.
Visit Team Draft for more information.
There’s a lot happening at this game. All fans are encouraged to attend and participate in the festivities. Noon kickoff.
Andie Raffles (Team Draft)