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Ex-NFL veteran Draft loses young wife to lung cancer

He was a solid linebacker with six NFL teams over 12 seasons, but Chris Draft's courage off the field trumps anything he accomplished during his playing days.

Draft married his wife, Keasha, in November. On Tuesday, one month to the day of their wedding, he lost her to lung cancer. She was 38.

"My wife, (La)Keasha Monique Rutledge Draft passed away today at 12:04 pm. RIP Sweetie," Draft said on his website, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A brief marriage, but one of true heart -- and a young woman who will not soon be forgotten.

"Strong is too pale, too shallow and too small of a word to describe Keasha's vibrancy," read a statement on Draft's site. "Quite simply, she was ferocious. She fiercely held onto life, and love with a forcefulness that was absolutely awe-inspiring and completely breathtaking."

Services were scheduled for Saturday in South Carolina.

Draft -- who once saved a man from a burning car -- was a sixth-round draft pick by the Bears in 1998. He went on to play for the Falcons, 49ers, Panthers, Rams and Bills. sends our deepest sympathies to Chris and his loved ones.

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