Annual Fan Award
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 was our 9th year to present our elegant etched glass Fan Award in homage to the elaborate fans that graced the stages of grand music hall productions, like the Ziegfeld Follies. Below are our distinguished recipients.
2017 Recipient: Diane Legg
LUNGSTRONG founder Diane Legg has lived with lung cancer for more than 13 years—8 more years than 85 percent of people struck by the often-stigmatized disease. She has used that time to raise three sons along with her husband David and to become a tireless fundraiser and advocate for leading-edge lung cancer research. As co-director of the New England chapter of the Lung Cancer Alliance, from 2006 – 2012, she launched “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer,” the largest international awareness event for the disease. In 2011, Diane founded LUNGSTRONG, a non-profit designed to provide unrestricted funding to lung cancer researchers, allowing them the freedom to think “out of the box” in pursuit of potentially transformative treatments. To date, LUNGSTRONG has raised over $2.8 Million to support research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and at the Mass General Cancer Center.
Diane lives in Amesbury, MA, with her husband, David, and her 3 sons, Dean, Cole, and Will. Since her diagnosis she has run 4 half marathons & ridden in 6 Pan Mass Challenges, not allowing lung cancer to define who she is or what she can do. Through her work, Diane hopes to help de-stigmatize lung cancer and to generate the much needed funding for lung cancer research with hopes of finding a cure.
2016 Recipient: Chris 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. Draft shares Upstage Lung Cancer’s views that we must find a way to identify lung cancer earlier. “We want people to see that anybody can get lung cancer. 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 our 2016 Fan Award.
2015 Recipient: Francine L Jacobson, MD, MPH
Francine L Jacobson, MD, MPH is an outspoken proponent for early detection of lung cancer. She is the Director of Lung Cancer Screening for Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Health Care. The Program is a Lung Cancer Alliance Center for Excellence in Lung Cancer Screening. She is also an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Her interests in health promotion and screening date back to Medical School at the University of Miami where she pioneered a joint MD-MPH degree. Her radiology research interest in perception has led to an involvement in many studies of lung nodule detection and detection of lung parenchymal features from CT scan images. She served as the BWH Site Primary Investigator for the NATIONAL LUNG SCREENING TRIAL, and has authored and co-authored numerous abstracts, reviews, and peer-reviewed articles on lung cancer screening.
2014 Recipient: Jordan Rich
received this year’s Fan Award for using his celebrity to speak out, raise awareness, and help educate the public about lung cancer. Mr. Rich is a 36-year Boston radio broadcast veteran. Since 1996, he has hosted a popular, all-night radio show on the CBS affiliate, WBZ AM 1030. His loyal audience spans 38 states and Canada. As an unwavering supporter of Upstage Lung Cancer’s efforts since we began, he has made public service radio announcements, invited us to appear on his show to talk about lung cancer, and also serves as emcee for our Spring event, “SING OUT! Youth Music Festival.” He ardently encourages listeners to attend lung cancer events and to get involved. Jordan personally knows the pressing need for lung cancer research, having lost Wendy, his wife of 31 years, to this deadly disease. Wendy’s courage in the face of many years of treatment has inspired Jordan to take action. We are grateful for Jordan’s advocacy efforts and we honor him for all of his hard work to fight lung cancer.
2013 Recipient: Vincent Miller, MD
is a world leader in lung cancer research and treatment and clinical trial design and interpretation. As Chief Medical Officer for Foundation Medicine, Dr. Miller has dedication, passion and singular expertise in bringing molecular profiling to the everyday treatment of lung cancer patients. His work in clinical and translational research in lung cancer culminated in observations and collaborative efforts critical to identification of EGFR sensitizing and resistance mutations. Dr. Miller has authored and co-authored numerous abstracts, reviews, and peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in such journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Foundation Medicine is a vanguard molecular information company focused on fundamentally changing the way patients with cancer are treated. Their initial product, FoundationOne™, uses next generation sequencing to identify all classes of genomic alterations in hundreds of cancer-related genes. These genomic profile results enable the physician to match targeted therapies and clinical trials to each individual patient based on the most recent scientific and medical research. Foundation Medicine is leading the way towards personalized cancer diagnosis and treatment.
2012 Recipient: Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD
is a dedicated cardiothoracic surgeon and is tireless in her efforts to save lives and empower women to fight lung cancer. She has received numerous awards and honors for her surgical research and innovations to treat lung cancer. She is named on two joint patents and has received more than 21 grants. Along with Dr. Francine Jacobson, she founded Women’s Lung Cancer Forum for lung cancer survivors, their friends, and relatives. The Forum’s focus is awareness, education, and empowerment. Watch and listen to Dr. Colson Receiving Upstage Lung Cancer’s Fan Award.
2011 Recipient: Deborah Morosini, MD
is a passionate and dedicated patient advocate for lung cancer. Her younger sister, Dana Reeve (who was married to actor Christopher Reeve), was a healthy nonsmoker when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Dana died 7 months after her diagnosis. Dr. Morosini turned her grief into determination to educate the general public and bring increased compassion and support to this neglected, underfunded, and lethal cancer, lung cancer. She decried blaming lung cancer patients for their disease. “I feel so moved to ask all of us to make a commitment to open our hearts to people suffering from this disease, to increasing the awareness, and to starting those conversations about that kind of judgment and false beliefs that all of us carry around with us,” she said.
2010 Recipient: Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., MD
is renowned for his innovative, humane, personalized, and passionate clinical practice and research in the area of lung cancer. Dr. Lynch’s vision is that, “Over the next 10 years, in terms of medical advances, is the application of real time medical genomics to the treatment and prevention of disease.” In his view of personal medicine, he emphasizes the connection and dialogue between doctor and patient and the resilience of those facing a life-threatening illness like lung cancer. This is a model for all current and future health care providers.
2009 Recipient: Jerry Remy
helped destigmatize lung cancer by publicly declaring that he was being treated for lung cancer in 2008. He experienced a recurrence in February, 2013. In April, Remy stated: “If I can help anybody, that’s great… For those who have had relapses, now I have too, and hopefully we can get through it together.”