President & Founder
"Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve."
Chris Draft is the Founder, President, and CEO of the Chris Draft Family Foundation (CDFF), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering families to live healthy lifestyles. He is a nationally recognized community leader and health advocate who serves as an NFL Ambassador, National Ambassador for the Parent Teacher Association, and a national spokesperson on many health-related issues, including the care and treatment of asthma, from which he suffers, and lung cancer, the disease that claimed the life of his wife, Keasha, late last year.
In 1998, Draft graduated from Stanford University where he earned a degree in economics while becoming a four-year letter winner in football and a two-year member of the Cardinal baseball team. After college, He went on to a twelve-year career in the NFL, playing linebacker for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins.
In 2006, Draft established the CDFF, which focuses on several primary initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline, and physical fitness. The CDFF’s newest initiative, Team Draft was created by Chris and Keasha during Keasha’s year-long struggle with Stage IV Lung Cancer.
As a former Charlotte Hornets Honeybee dancer and member of Clemson University’s Rally Cat dance squad, Keasha was an energetic vibrant young woman who had never smoked when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in December 2010. At the time, her only “symptom” was a slight shortness of breath a few days earlier. Despite the diagnosis and knowing the long odds they faced, Keasha and Chris decided to fight back. On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side, they launched Team Draft at their wedding. One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight and died at the age of 38.
Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” The fact is anybody can get lung cancer. Yet, despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases. Team Draft is out to change all that by using the unique platform available to Draft as a former NFL player and nationally recognized community leader and health advocate to lead a national campaign to change the face of lung cancer—a campaign that has, to date, taken Team Draft to more than 50 of the top cancer treatment and research centers in North America.
This year, Team Draft partnered with lung-cancer survivor Jackie Archer to help the State of Georgia become the first state in the nation to issue a lung cancer-specific license plate. Draft was part of the ceremonies with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal when he signed HB 732 into law, authorizing the plates and has personally installed the first several plates. In September, Draft participated as a runner and a keynote speaker in the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Series in Philadelphia, and was recently named a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy in recognition of Team Draft’s work.
A leader both on and off the field, Draft has received a number of awards and honors for his tireless work in the community. He was recently honored by SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. at its 33rd Annual Drum Major For Justice Awards in recognition of the Foundation’s health awareness efforts. Additionally, Draft was selected as the Man Of The Year by both the St. Louis Rams and the Carolina Panthers, and received the NFL Alumni Spirit, Ed Block Courage, and Rankin Smith Awards. He was also a two-time finalist for the prestigious Byron “Whizzer” White Award. In addition to his numerous accolades, Draft is also a published author. His 2010 children’s book, Do You Want to Play Catch?, stresses the importance of family and physical activity.