Posts Tagged ‘Tony Romo’

Remembering John Atkinson

12 Jun 2009 by Wendi Lewis under News, Organizations

atkinson 150x150 Remembering John AtkinsonEarly last year, we asked folks reading this site to rally around lung cancer survivor John Atkinson, who had entered a contest sponsored by Golf Digest to play in a celebrity foursome at the US Open Golf Tournament. John won that contest, and last June he joined celebrities of The Today Show, entertainer Justin Timberlake, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on the links. We are sad to announce today that yesteray Atkinson lost his battle with lung cancer, and passed away at age 40.

John’s story touched a lot of people, and did so much to help raise about lung cancer, which is the leading cancer killer. His strength and determination to fight this disease, and his evident love for his family, his friends, and life itself, touched so many people.

While mesothelioma is not usually considered traditional “lung cancer,” as it most often affects the lining of the lungs but can also affect the lining of the stomach or, more rarely, the heart, we still rally around the lung cancer community in its call for more research, more funding and more . Today, we join the Lung Cancer Alliance in remembering this remarkable man who, as he fought his own personal battle, also dedicated himself to fighting the stigma of lung cancer, and fighting for a cure.

This morning presented a tribute to John Atkinson on The Today Show. Take a moment to watch this short tribute to a remarkable man. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

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Atkinson conquers U.S. Open course

16 Jun 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

I everyone had the chance to watch John Atkinson play the U.S. Open golf course at Torrey Pines, California, as part of a celebrity foursome with NBC Today Show anchor , Dallas Cowboy player Tony Romo and entertainer Justin Timberlake. The event was broadcast on NBC Sports on Sunday, Father’s Day.

I’ve posted about John several times on this site. He was selected by the readers of Golf Digest magazine to participate in this first-ever celebrity foursome event. Diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, John used the event as a chance to raise about lung cancer and to inspire those with the diagnosis to keep meeting the challenges of everyday life, and taking advantage of life’s unique opportunities.

This morning, interviewed John and his brother, Kevin, who caddied for his big brother on the last hole in an emotional show of support. Watch the video at MSNBC.com.

In addition to this , the Lung Cancer Alliance has the first part of what will be a multi-part documentary about John’s battle against Lung Cancer up on its site. John is a spokesperson for the organization. Watch the first episode at the LCA web site.

John has made it his mission to raise about lung cancer, with the hopes of increasing funding for research and treatment. His campaign gives to everyone who battles lung cancer in its many forms, including those fighting mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs. Thank you, John, for your willingness to go that extra mile!


Quick update on Atkinson

6 Jun 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

Just a quick update on John Atkinson. I’ve posted many times this week about the lung cancer survivor, who will play in a celebrity foursome on the U.S. Open Torrey Pines course in California with entertainer Justin Timberlake, NBC Today Show anchor , and Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo. John’s round of golf will be televised on NBC Sports at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 15. But I need to clarify that John is actually playing his round TODAY, Friday, June 6.

He arrived in California yesterday for a practice round, and will tee off with the celebrities in front of 250 spectators, along with camera crews and journalists, tomorrow. His final round and his score will be televised on June 15 as part of the lead-in to the U.S. Open coverage. The special will feature clips from the 18 holes of golf. John vows to break 100 on the tough course, with a goal of shooting an 89.

You can still sign up to sponsor John as part of his U.S. Open adventure, with funds going to lung cancer research and . He is encouraging people to agree to double their pledge if he makes his goal of breaking 100. Find a sponsor form at the Lung Cancer Alliance web site. GO JOHN!


Atkinson in the news again

4 Jun 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

Lung cancer survivor John Atkinson, who I mentioned yesterday, continues to be in the news. Selected by Golf Digest magazine to play as part of a celebrity foursome on the U.S. Open course on Father’s Day, June 15, he is using this opportunity to speak out about lung cancer and research. Of course, mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos, and affects the lining of the lungs.

Today there was a great article in the Detroit Free Press about Atkinson. The article states that Atkinson considers his “Achilles heel” in the competition to be the fact that he’s never played the tough Torrey Pines U.S. Open course, not that he has lung cancer. The avid golfer was on the links shortly after his diagnosis (he shot a 78) and walked the course after completing four rounds of chemotherapy. His goal for the celebrity tournament is to break 100.

You can also keep an eye out for Atkinson on NBC Nightly News tomorrow, June 5. He is scheduled to appear, barring any unexpected national events that bump him from the slot.

Atkinson will be teamed with celebrities Justin Timberlake, NBC Today Show anchor , and Dallas Cowboy star Tony Romo in the tournment, which will be aired on NBC Sports at 2 p.m. ET June 15.

How wonderful that Atkinson has this chance in the spotlight to talk about lung cancer, and to promote efforts to increase funding for research and to raise . He also is an official spokesman for the Lung Cancer Alliance.


Atkinson talks to ESPN2 about U.S. Open

3 Jun 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News

atkinson 150x150 Atkinson talks to ESPN2 about U.S. OpenA few weeks ago, I talked about lung cancer survivor John Atkinson, who was selected by Golf Digest magazine to play the U.S. Open golf course on Father’s Day, June 15, as part of a celebrity foursome with Today Show host , pop star and entertainer Justin Timberlake, and Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo. Friday morning, he was on an ESPN2 radio program, “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” where he discussed his thoughts on the upcoming event.

John Atkinson talks about U.S. Open plans with ESPN2.

Atkinson will play the tough Torrey Pines course in San Diego. While on the radio program, John shares the story of his diagnosis and battle with lung cancer, and his plans to break 100 in the tournament.

John is a spokesperson for the Lung Cancer Alliance. Visit their web site to download a sponsor form, and consider hosting a party on the day of the celebrity tournament. John is encouraging donors to vow to double their pledge if he breaks 100.

Let’s get behind this remarkable man, who has a unique opportunity to share the message of the importance of lung cancer research and funding. will broadcast the celebrity event from 2-3 p.m. ET.


Lung cancer advocate Atkinson U.S. Open pledge

13 May 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events

atkinson2 150x150 Lung cancer advocate Atkinson U.S. Open pledgeLast week I helped spread the word that Lung Cancer Alliance advocate John Atkinson has been selected by Golf Digest magazine to play the U.S. Open golf course, on Father’s Day, June 15, as part of a celebrity foursome with NBC Today Show’s , entertainer Justin Timberlake, and NFL star Tony Romo. He plans to use the opportunity to advocate for lung cancer and research. NBC Sports will broadcast the celebrity event from 2-3 p.m. ET, where John hopes to break 100 on the tough Torrey Pines course.

John was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer a little more than a year ago at age 38. He was selected from among 56,000 people who entered a contest sponsored by Golf Digest, the United States Golf Association and NBC Sports to play the U.S. Open Course as part of the celebrity team. You can read more of his inspiring story at Golf Digest online.

In addition to raising , John and the Lung Cancer Alliance would like to use this event as an opportunity to raise funds for lung cancer research. They are encouraging people to make a donation or pledge to LCA in John’s honor. There’s even a great idea for a “game day” event, where lung cancer supporters can collect pledges and host a pledge party with family and friends. John is urging donors to consider doubling their pledge amount if he breaks 100!

Visit the Lung Cancer Alliance U.S. Open pledge page for donation information, pledge party forms, and links for help and more information.

What a GREAT opportunity to raise the profile of lung cancer , and communicate to America – and beyond – what an important issue this is for national health! Watch for John in the coming weeks, as he is scheduled to appear on national news programs like NBC Nightly News, The Today Show and The Tonight Show. I’ll try to update when his appearances are scheduled.


Lung cancer survivor to play on U.S. Open course

7 May 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

atkinson 150x150 Lung cancer survivor to play on U.S. Open courseGolf Digest magazine announced John Atkinson, a stage IV lung cancer survivor, has been selected to play as part of a celebrity foursome at Torrey Pines, the same course played by the pros at this year’s U.S. Open. Atkinson will play with NBC Today Show host , Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, and recording artist Justin Timberlake. The event will be broadcast on NBC Sports on Sunday, June 15, from 2-3 p.m. (ET), in the hour leading into NBC’s broadcast of the final round.

Atkinson was selected from more than 56,000 entries, voted on by the magazine’s readers. Never a smoker, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer a little more than a year ago at age 38. He hopes to use the golf event as an opportunity to raise for lung cancer funding and research.

In a press release from the Lung Cancer Alliance, which urged its members and supporters to vote for Atkinson, he is quoted as saying, “The game of golf to me is living. I am going out there to enjoy the golf course, to play a great round and to give to those who are faced with life threatening illnesses. If I can beat America’s deadliest cancer, then I can definitely break 100 [at Torrey Pines]. It’s going to be a great day, an emotional day, and I can’t wait.”

Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer, taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.

To enter the contest, Atkinson submitted a 100-word essay describing why he could break 100 at Torrey Pines. Once being chosen as a finalist, he received more than 48,000 of the 117,000 votes cast in the first U.S. Open Contest, conducted by Golf Digest, the United States Golf Association, and NBC Sports. You can watch a interview with Atkinson and read other features about the foursome at Golf Digest online.