He was a Carolina Panther. She was a Charlotte Hornets Honey Bee. Theirs was the quintessential Queen City romance.
When Chris Draft married Keasha Rutledge on Nov. 27, 2011, they made two vows. Their first vow was, of course, to each other. Their second vow was to support those fighting lung cancer. It was a fight they understood well, ever since Keasha’s diagnosis the previous year when she was just 37 years old.
Keasha died one month after their wedding.
Their vows still motivate Chris. They drive his work in Team Draft, the awareness organization that he and Keasha launched on their wedding day. They compel him to meet lung cancer survivors, to learn their stories and to share them. So after Chris watches a WCNC newscast that featured five lung cancer survivors in Charlotte, he asks Levine Cancer Institute if he can meet them.
Of course, they tell him.