|Posted by Christine Dwyer on December 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM|
I chose to make this a separate entry from the Illumination because it really warrants it's own space on this blog.
On November 12, 2012, the Monday before the event I received the following email message:
Good evening! I just saw your Illuminate the Falls story. I lost my wife Keasha to lung Cancer in December 2011. I will be in town on Thursday to attend the Buffalo Bills/Miami Dolphins game with a lung cancer survivor. We, Team Draft, are coordinating a survivor at all 14 games this week. I would love to catch up with you on Thursday before I go to the game.
BTW. I played for the Bills in 2009.
Founder, President, and CEO
Chris Draft Family Foundation
I knew of Chris and Keasha and I knew of their story. I had actually shared it on the Facebook page. I was so touched by their story and I remember thinking I KNOW he will do great things. It is through the loss of loved ones that motivates so many of us to pick up this cause and run with it... I never, ever dreamed that I would be contacted by Chris and asked to meet him while we were both in the Falls area but that is exactly what happened.
On the day of the 15th, I got to Canada around 1pm after a 5+ hour drive. I was so excited and so nervous to be meeting Chris for lunch! My friend Gary came and met me at the hotel and was able to accompany me to this meeting. Chris and I decided to meet at the Hard Rock Cafe on the American side of the Falls.
We arrived at the Cafe and got a table. I was still in awe of the fact that this guy wanted to meet ME. We talked about Make Some Noise and how the Illumination event came to be, we talked about Chris and Keasha and Team Draft. We talked about lung cancer and the changes that have come about as well as the changes happening now and the future of awareness and treatments; just everything! We talked about the stigma and how the negative portrayals of Lung Cancer just need to stop.
Chris was in the area to host a Lung Cancer Survivor at the Buffalo Bills game that evening. This was part of the NFL and Team Draft's A Survivor At Every Game. Chris explained to us how showing the positives with our Survivors is such an important step in convincing the researchers and the funding to focus more on Lung Cancer. It makes so much sense!!
We talked about the PINK and how the Lung Cancer community needs to pay more attention to utilizing that force rather than bashing it. Yes, I am as guilty of this as anyone else. It's the PINK that actually got me to start the Make Some Noise organization though and it is the PINK that was responsible for the Illumination event to be born. So I decided after talking to Chris that I will rethink how I look at that movement and I will try to harness some of that incredible energy to help move Lung Cancer Awareness forward!
After lunch we all walked across the street to the Falls. Always such a breathtaking experience to see but more so with all of the new found ideas and passion running through my mind for this cause! Chris asked me to tape a little PSA type segment for his web site and although I never in a zillion years ever thought I would do that, I did it! It's not too bad for spur of the moment, LOL While we were doing that, Gary had my camera and snapped some awesome shots of us! I reciprocated and got some of Chris and Gary as well. ( Hey I was still just a little star struck )
Here is the link to the video I did..
I feel so blessed to have been able to meet Chris and trade ideas back and forth and I do hope that we will be working together on more awareness in the future! Thank you Chris Draft for all that you are doing and for inspiring me to do even more!
To learn more about Chris and his foundation, please visit: