Check out this PSA about our October performance, “Ella: Celebrating the 1st Lady of Song!” A special thanks to Jordan Rich of Chart Productions and to WBZ Radio!”
“It’s a well-known fact that most performers do not like to be upstaged. So nearly a decade ago, after a lung cancer diagnosis had threatened to upstage Hildy Grossman, the Boston psychologist—who also happens to be an accomplished jazz singer—decided to turn the tables on the deadly disease. The result was Upstage Lung Cancer, a nonprofit organization that uses music and musical theater to fight lung cancer. Grossman founded the organization in 2008.”
Each year, Upstage Lung Cancer has bestowed our “Fan Award” on an individual or organization whose efforts have shown exceptional leadership in the area of lung cancer. It could be for the courage to speak out and raise awareness, for advocacy, or for conducting research leading to new methods of early detection and identification of lung cancer.
This year, we are privileged to announce that the 2016 recipient of the Upstage Lung Cancer “Fan Award” is: Chris Draft, of Team Draft!
On November 27, 2011, former 12-year veteran NFL star Chris Draft married the love of his life, professional dancer Keasha Rutledge, in an intimate and beautiful wedding ceremony surrounded by loved ones. In fact, Team Draft was launched on Chris and Keasha’s wedding day. Exactly one month later, on December 27, at age 38, she died. Chris sat by her side as she took her last breaths. He was inspired and determined to create Team Draft with the goal to change the face of lung cancer. “We want people to see that anybody can get lung cancer.” Draft shares Upstage Lung Cancer’s views that we must find a way to identify lung cancer earlier. “My wife was this strong, healthy woman, who was all of a sudden short of breath. If she was diagnosed at Stage 3, instead of 4, it could have increased her chances of survival. We’re going to celebrate her life and the type of person she was and we want others to grab hold of her spirit and make a difference. Keasha didn’t smoke, she was a dancer, she was fit, and she was healthy.” Chris Draft uses his accomplishments in the world of sports to build a community of awareness and advocacy for lung cancer. This is an inspiration to Upstage Lung Cancer, and we are honored to present him with ULC’s 2016 Fan Award as we strive to build the same awareness community using the performing arts.
Emily, Sandy, and Corey have much in common. They are vibrant, athletic, well-educated women. They also share something else in common; they were diagnosed with advanced lung cancer when they were in their twenties. These young people and many more are part of a population of adolescents and young adults all never-smokers, diagnosed with a disease that is traditionally associated with people much older. They are the changing face of lung cancer, which takes more lives annually worldwide than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined.
“The reality is that anyone can get lung cancer. It is an equal opportunity disease that doesn’t discriminate based on age, ethnicity, socio-economic level, or lifestyle,” says Hildy Grossman, a lung cancer survivor who founded Upstage Lung Cancer (ULC) in 2008. The Brookline nonprofit uses the performing arts to increase awareness, destigmatize the disease, and raise funds for cutting-edge early detection research. Three thousand miles away in San Francisco, survivor Bonnie J. Addario works to achieve the same end through the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) founded in 2006 and Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) established two years later.
Upstage Lung Cancer Partners with LUNGevity Foundation on Early Detection Research Award
Washington, D.C. (February 22, 2016) — LUNGevity Foundation is pleased to announce that Upstage Lung Cancer is collaborating with LUNGevity in support of an early detection translational lung cancer research project. The grant was awarded to Northwestern University researchers Vadim Backman, PhD, and Ankit Bharat, MBBS. The goal of the research is to develop a new, noninvasive method for detecting lung cancer at its earliest and most treatable.
The study will investigate the use of advanced technology, Partial Wave Spectroscopy, to determine how cells taken from the cheeks of Stage I lung cancer patients reflect early changes in respiratory tract cells that indicate the presence of lung cancer. (more…)
Since 2011, we have raised over $1.8 million for lung cancer research. We thank our major partner, LUNGevity Foundation, for such successful collaboration and look forward to working together in the coming year.
Our Fall Cabaret, HIGH HOPES: Celebrating Sinatra’s Centennial was a sensational evening. Our sold-out November production is now on YouTube. In case you missed it—Check it out!
We were honored to present this year’s Fan Award to Francine Jacobson, MD, MPH, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for her work on early detection of lung cancer and women’s health. Congratulations!
Our next SING OUT! is the third, in partnership with Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. In 2016, we expand to include our new partner, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
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June 2014 The Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards place a spotlight on those who give their time to help others and exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism. Annually, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation host the awards program as part of the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative in honor of Myra Kraft’s example of being a lifelong volunteer.
On June 9, twenty-six volunteers were recognized for their contributions at a luncheon and awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Each Community MVP received grants for their respective nonprofit organizations. Fifteen New England based organizations were presented with $5,000 grants in honor of their volunteers’ work. Ten others received grants of $10,000 and one grand prize winner was presented $25,000. (more…)