#CHIEFSVSCANCER

Kansas City Chiefs Crucial Catch

Partnering to make a Crucial Catch

When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society are collaborating to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System are encouraging early detection and risk reduction for seven screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical

The importance of screening for those seven cancers will be highlighted at the upcoming Oct. 13 game at Arrowhead Stadium, when the Chiefs play against the Houston Texans. Seven cancer survivors will be honored on the field and the coin toss captains will be Josh Mullin, an esophageal cancer patient, and a health system physician. 



Crucial Catch Honorees

Cris Christensen: Breast Cancer
Cris Christensen Smiling Through Breast Cancer

Cris Christensen discovered a large, tender lump in her left armpit in December 2018. In March, she scheduled an appointment at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. The lump proved to be an enlarged lymph node due to triple-positive invasive ductal carcinoma in her left breast. Triple-positive breast cancer means the cancer cells test positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, and also HER2 protein. Today, Cris is cancer-free, following a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy.

“The University of Kansas Cancer Center was my first and only choice,” she says. “I knew it was one of the leading cancer centers in the Midwest. I feel like I hit the jackpot, honestly. From the nurses to my team of doctors, everyone was incredibly professional and extremely knowledgeable. They far exceeded my expectations, and because of them I have a full life ahead of me.”

Cris was selected by her physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.

Danita Pieper: Lung Cancer
Danita Pieper Surviving Cancer  ̶  Twice

Danita Pieper, 57, has a family history of breast cancer, so she wasn’t that surprised when she was diagnosed with the disease. Following surgery and chemotherapy for breast cancer, Danita was astounded to learn she had developed non-small-cell lung cancer.

“I’m not a smoker, so it was quite a shock. On the positive side, I’m so thankful it was caught early. My breast cancer was caught early too,” she says. “I went to The University of Kansas Cancer Center because I trusted my physician’s recommendation. Plus, I had friends who had been treated there. They had nothing but positive things to say.”

Danita was selected by her physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.

Derek Jackson: Skin Cancer
Derek Jackson

Skin Cancer Survivor Praises Surgeons
Derek Jackson, 49, spent his youth swimming and many of his adult years in construction. He never used sunscreen unless his wife, Amy, applied it for him. When he noticed a sore on his upper lip in September 2017, he assumed it was an infected hair follicle. A biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma. So, Derek called The University of Kansas Cancer Center, where he had extensive surgery to remove his entire upper lip, plus an area under his nose. Then, surgeons reconstructed his face using a section of his lower lip and chin. Derek also received 30 rounds of radiation.

Why did he choose The University of Kansas Cancer Center?

“My friend’s mother traveled to 2 big cancer hospitals in other states,” he says about her cancer diagnosis. “They told her we have one of the best cancer centers right in our backyard.”

Derek was selected by his physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.

Matthew Arndt: Ewing Sarcoma
Matthew Arndt Ewing Sarcoma Patient Longs to Be a Kid

It’s not unusual for a 11-year-old boy to have pain in his side during football season. In fall 2017, Matthew Arndt told his mom, Melissa Carriker, about the problem. What was believed to be childhood growing pains soon turned into a diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma, a rare cancer that grows in the bones or soft tissue surrounding bones. Matthew, who lives in Belle Plaine, Kansas, which is south of Wichita, was referred to sarcoma specialists at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, where he continues to receive care.

“Our experience with the pediatric hematology and oncology team has been phenomenal,” says Melissa. “We absolutely love them. They have not only built great trust and rapport with Matthew, but also with me and my husband. I highly recommend not only our team, but the entire cancer center.”

Matthew was selected by his physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.

Melvin Kennedy: Prostate Cancer
Melvin Kennedy

Prostate Cancer Survivor Says, ‘Get tested!’
A few years ago, Melvin Kennedy, 66, made an appointment at The University of Kansas Health System to see about his high blood pressure. A simple blood test revealed Melvin’s PSA (prostate-specific antigen) was high. Elevated PSA can indicate cancer in the prostate. He was referred to The University of Kansas Cancer Center where he was diagnosed with a high-grade, aggressive cancer. Melvin had surgery to remove his prostate followed by radiation and hormone therapy. Today, Melvin is cancer-free.

“My PSA number is way down. I have some side effects, but nothing that hinders me from living my life,” said Melvin. “I hope I don’t have to go through any more cancer treatments, but if so, I’ll choose The University of Kansas Cancer Center. The Lord worked through the cancer center staff and doctors, allowing me to be here with my family today. I thank them all.”

Melvin was selected by his physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.

Patricia Mitchem: Cervical Cancer
Patricia Mitchem Stroke Leads to Discovery of Cervical Cancer

In January 2017, a stroke took Patricia Mitchem, 56, to the emergency department of a local hospital. Soon after, she experienced heavy postmenopausal bleeding. It turns out the stroke was caused by the bleeding. And the bleeding was caused by cervical cancer.

Fortunately, Patricia was referred to The University of Kansas Cancer Center, where she received combined chemoradiation therapy to treat the local cervical tumor followed by a more aggressive 2-drug chemotherapy regimen to eradicate the remote abdominal disease. Today, Patricia is disease-free and back to her normal life.

Patricia was selected by her physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.

Tony Bonavia: Colon Cancer
Tony Bonavia Facing Colon Cancer with Family

Tony Bonavia, 55, was admitted to The University of Kansas Hospital in January 2018 for a toe infection related to his diabetes. During his hospital stay, he mentioned his rectal bleeding to one of the physicians. It was stage 4 colon cancer. Tony had surgery to remove the mass in his colon, and also received follow-up chemotherapy. He continues to receive care at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

“I’m in great hands with The University of Kansas Cancer Center,” he says. “I think of my care team as family. The staff is amazing. Everybody treats you with such respect and dignity. I recommend people leave other hospitals and come here.”

Tony was selected by his physicians to be recognized as a Crucial Catch at the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 13 game. When it comes to cancer, defense is the best offense, which is why the NFL and the American Cancer Society collaborate to help football fans make a Crucial Catch. As Crucial Catch partners, the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System encourage early detection and risk reduction for 7 screenable cancers: colon, prostate, breast, lung, skin, childhood and cervical.

As with all treatments, individual patient results vary. It is important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider.