The University of Kansas Health System

Patients Honored as Chiefs Coin Toss Captains

Partnership provides unique NFL opportunity

For the second season, one of our patients and their health care provider were honored in pregame ceremonies at each Kansas City Chiefs home game.

Serving as Coca-Cola Coin Toss Captains, the patients and physicians watched the teams warm up from the sidelines, walked to the middle of the field with KC Wolf, shook hands with players, had their names and images broadcast throughout the stadium and witnessed the flip of the coin that determined which team received the ball first.

Yet all of the fun served a serious purpose – to raise awareness of specific health topics. In addition to the in-stadium activities on game day, patients and their physicians were interviewed live on KCTV-5's Better KC morning show, educating viewers by sharing their inspirational stories.

Read their stories


David Rutkowski  Aug. 11 – After receiving treatment for a heart attack at our health system, David Rutkowski was inspired to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Rutkowski and cardiothoracic surgeon Trip Zorn, MD, helped promote heart health as part of a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Dr. Joseph McGuirk and Meghan Woody-Fowler at the Aug. 31 preseason Chiefs game  Aug. 31 – When she was 19 and a pre-med student at Boston College, Meghan Woody-Fowler was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive type of leukemia generally seen in older people. She and Blood and Marrow Transplant Medical Director Joseph McGuirk, DO, discussed her care, as part of the activities before the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
Brock Anderson with his family and Dr. David Smith before the Chiefs home opener  Sept. 17 – In the eighth grade, during a typical football practice, Brock Anderson experienced something he had never felt before: a "crushing headache" after one of the drills. A year later he also sustained a knee injury. He and David Smith, MD, a sports medicine specialist, discussed his care before the home opener with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eric Kesselring, Dr. William Parker, Dr. Terance Tsue and their families before the Chiefs game  Oct. 2 – Prostate cancer survivor Eric Kesselring and William Parker, MD, helped raise awareness of the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer) and the second-leading cause of death from cancer in men. The duo took the field before the Washington Redskins game.
Jaime Carlson with Dr. Kelsey Larson and their families before the Chiefs game  Oct. 15 – To illustrate the "seven screenable cancers," Jaime Carlson talked about her family history of breast cancer and her own treatments for the disease – as well as for a subsequent thyroid cancer diagnosis. Kelsey Larson, MD, joined her in the coin-toss activities.
Herastico Pitty-Diaz and Dr. Raed Al-Rajabi before the Chiefs game  Oct. 30 – For Herastico Pitty-Diaz, it all started with a stubbed toe that wouldn't heal. His physician told him the toe was fine but that Pitty-Diaz was due for a colonoscopy. The eventual findings: stage II colon cancer. As a coin-toss captain, Pitty-Diaz and Raed Al-Rajabi, MD, discussed his treatments and the importance of regular colonoscopies.
Reggie Peoples and Dr. Roukoz Chamoun before the Kansas City Chiefs game  Nov. 26 – Over the course of eight years, Reggie Peoples struggled with increasingly poor eyesight, due to a growing tumor in his pituitary gland. Thanks to a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure to remove the benign tumor, he's able to drive again and see his children clearly. Peoples and Roukoz Chamoun, MD, discussed the innovative procedure and our health system's multidisciplinary care.
Brandon Smith and Dr. Dhaval Bavsar before the Chiefs game  Dec. 10 Brandon Smith was burning brush from an overgrown yard. The gasoline can he was holding exploded, engulfing his hands, arms, legs and torso in flames. Months later, as coin-toss captain, Smith and Dhaval Bhavsar, MD, talked about his remarkable recovery and the support he received from physicians and other clinicians in burn care and rehabilitation.
Jake Moore and Dr. Steven Glorsky on the field before the Chiefs game  Dec. 16 – Last April, Jake Moore experienced a range of horrendous injuries in a motorcycle accident, including a form of traumatic brain injury. Specialists in trauma, orthopedics and neurosciences all collaborated in his care. After spending 30 days in our hospital, followed by months more of rehabilitation, Moore was able to walk onto Arrowhead's field for the coin-toss ceremony, along with Steven Glorsky, MD.
John Findlay with his family on the field before the Chiefs game  Dec. 24 John Findlay spent years battling hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease that limits the heart's ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. As one of the first patients in our health system's new heart transplant program, he was honored before the game against the Miami Dolphins alongside cardiologist Andrew Sauer, MD. The week also highlighted the importance of organ donor registration.
Nina Matthews with Dr. Andrea Jewell on the field before the Chiefs game  Jan. 6 – Pregame festivities turned an uplifting spotlight on cervical cancer awareness and care. Patient Nina Matthews told of how she is cancer-free, thanks to coordinated treatments at our cancer center and support of the gynecological oncology team. She was backed in her coin-toss activities by Andrea Jewell, MD.

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