NFL Players Beating Asthma

Professional Football Players Tackle Asthma with the Asthma Team™
Players Will Serve as Captains of the National Asthma Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2010)—
The Chris Draft Family Foundation (CDFF) and the American Lung Association are working together to recognize families who are tackling asthma by sharing the stories of their battles. Now, professional football players have joined the cause to become captains of the CDFF’s Asthma Team™ and tell their own stories of fighting asthma. Participating players from NFL teams are joining families nationwide to highlight the diversity of the fight against asthma and to inspire those with the disease to keep fighting. These NFL players include linebackers Chris Draft, Larry English and Larry Grant; defensive linemen Leonard Little, Adam Carriker and Gary Gibson; cornerback Ellis Lankster, and safeties Corey Chavous and Haruki Nakamura.

For the past three years, the CDFF and the American Lung Association have worked together to recognize families for their fight against asthma. The CDFF is expanding its work with local Lung Associations nationwide by arranging for Chris Draft and other players to speak with families and encourage them to keep tackling asthma.

“The most important thing for people with asthma to know is that they can take control of the disease and properly manage their symptoms,” said Chris Draft, linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and Founder of the Chris Draft Family Foundation and Asthma Team. “By enlisting the help of other NFL players who have overcome their disease to become successful professional athletes, we are helping spread the message that asthma is manageable and doesn’t have to hold you back.”

Draft is a 12-year NFL veteran and has battled asthma since college. He also serves as the National Spokesman for the Winning with Asthma campaign, working with the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association.

“The Asthma Team partnership with professional football players is so important to young kids because it shows them they can take control of their asthma and live a healthy, active life,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO. “We are grateful to these players for creating awareness about asthma and the importance of having good asthma management skills to improve one’s quality of life. As the 2009 football season comes to a close, we are just beginning to establish these valuable relationships through the Asthma Team.”

The Asthma Team™ is comprised of more than 23 million people that have asthma and their friends and family that are helping them tackle asthma. The team seeks to inspire, educate and recognize those that are tackling asthma or helping someone they know fight the disease. If you have asthma, or care for someone that does, you are already on the Asthma Team™. To learn more about the Asthma Team™, the NFL Captains or the Winning with Asthma campaign, visit the Asthma Team™ website at

The American Lung Association has a number of resources to help people determine their level of asthma control, and take steps to improve their asthma management and breathe easier. To learn how to take control of asthma, visit

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