The National Lung Cancer Roundtable is the Recipient of Funds from the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s Team Draft Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge

Ms. Patty Watkins raised $27, 402 for the National Lung Cancer Roundtable’s Lung Cancer in Women Task Group

On the kickoff of Lung Cancer Awareness Month (November 1, 2018), the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s Team Draft Initiative launched its 5th annual Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. This unique fundraising challenge gives lung cancer survivors the opportunity to raise funds for public awareness and cutting-edge research that gives new hope to patients battling lung cancer. For 2018, the top three fundraisers earned trips to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, GA, the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL, and the Taste of the NFL in Atlanta, GA. Through this effort, the survivors have an opportunity to use the overwhelming media coverage surrounding the Super Bowl as a platform to raise critical public awareness for lung cancer as well as raise funds for lung cancer organizations and treatment centers across North America.

Ms. Patty Watkins, a 5-year survivor and native of the Atlanta area, participated in the Super Bowl Challenge and worked in collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT) to host two events that raised funds for the NLCRT’s Lung Cancer in Women Task Group, which is co-chaired by Dr. Leah Backhus, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University and Dr. M. Patricia Rivera, Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To elevate awareness in November during Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Ms. Watkins hosted the Love the Pearls Luncheon at the Ansley Country Club in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Robert Smith, Vice President of Cancer Screening at ACS and Principal Investigator of the NLCRT, served as keynote speaker and presented an informative overview of the NLCRT. Mr. Chris Draft showed his enthusiasm for the partnership opportunities that exist among Team Draft, the ACS, and NLCRT with his welcome remarks. More than 130 attendees included friends and family of Ms. Watkins, local celebrities and media personalities, lung cancer survivors who advocate on behalf of many NLCRT advocacy organization members, and staff and volunteers for the ACS, NLCRT and Georgia Lung Cancer Roundtable. The Pearls Group International sold pearl gifts at below retail cost and auction items included vacations, artwork, spa packages, jewelry, and wine baskets.

In January 2019, Ms. Watkins hosted Celebrate the Night in White at Mason Fine Art in Atlanta, GA. Close to 200 attendees celebrated the efforts to raise funds for the NLCRT. Dr. William Mayfield, Chief Surgical Officer at WellStar Health System in Georgia, and Chair of the Georgia Lung Cancer Roundtable served as keynote speaker.

In February 2019, Ms. Watkins participated in the Lung Cancer in Women Task Group’s Summit by sharing her unique personal story and offering key survivor insights. The Summit aimed to:

  1. Identify gaps in knowledge about the epidemiology, risk factors, biologic differences and outcomes of lung cancer in women
  2. Construct a list of research questions that need to be studied.
  3.  Recommend strategies and approaches towards designing research studies that can address these questions.

The ACS’ National Lung Cancer Roundtable and the Lung Cancer in Women Task Group wish to express their deep appreciation to Ms. Watkins and the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s hard work to raise funds to support the Roundtable’s efforts to address lung cancer in women.