Thirteen-year NFL veteran Chris Draft and 11-year veteran Brian Finneran will be rappelling down Atlanta’s Buckhead Tower with Team LIVESTRONG at “Over the Edge” on Sept. 10 to raise funds for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.
Draft and Finneran have created their own fundraising teams for the event, “Draft’s Picks” and “Finn’s Falcons,” and will lead a competition to register the most team members and raise the most funds from now until they rappel. Anyone over the age of 18 can join either team by registering for the event, or simply donate to help Draft and Finneran go “over the edge.”
All proceeds from their teams’ fundraising will go toward growing LIVESTRONG at the YMCA — an evidence‐based community program that helps adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well‐being after treatment. The 12‐week, small group program aids survivors in improving their strength and physical fitness, diminishing the severity of therapy side effects and developing supportive relationships. The program is offered at little to no cost for cancer survivors.
“I had a moment of pause before joining Over the Edge as I thought about rappelling down a building with a fear of heights, but that fear is nothing compared to the challenges that cancer survivors face in their everyday lives,” Draft said. “I’ll do anything if I believe it’ll help improve the lives of survivors, and we can be sure that the money we raise for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA programs nationwide will do just that.”
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA was recently highlighted by Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative for the commitment by LIVESTRONG and YMCA of the USA (Y‐USA) to double the size and scope of the program by 2021 to serve 100,000 cancer survivors and to integrate the program into clinical practice across the country.
Draft played for six teams in his career, most notably the Atlanta Falcons, where he excelled as a run-stopping linebacker. Though more importantly off the field, he began Team Draft in 2011 with his wife Keasha to give hope, comfort and inspiration to people affected by cancer, while she courageously battled the disease herself. One month later, Keasha passed away, but Draft has maintained fight, bringing awareness and funding to lung cancer research and care. Finneran now hosts a daily radio show on Atlanta’s 680 The Fan after playing 10 of his 11 years in the city.
The two ex-teammates grew up together and look forward to one-upping each other in this Over the Edge charity challenge.
“After learning about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grow and expand a program that helps cancer survivors return to their daily lives after treatment,” Finneran said. “And I definitely didn’t want to miss out on a chance to out-do my old friend Chris one more time!”
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 19 years, LIVESTRONG has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than 3.5 million people. A pioneer in the field of survivorship, LIVESTRONG remains a world leader in providing direct services to cancer patients and survivors, advocating for policies that enhance survivors’ quality of life and developing partnerships that create access to cancer programs across the country. Since 2007, the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program has made a return to fitness and well-being possible for more than 40,000 survivors in more than 500 YMCA locations. Working with The University of Texas’ Dell Medical School, LIVESTRONG is building the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes to reinvent and redesign cancer care for and with people affected by cancer.
If anyone you know needs cancer support, please visit LIVESTRONG.org/WeCanHelp. For more information about our programs and services, please visit LIVESTRONG.org.