Many little girls dream of the day they will walk down the aisle into the arms of their Prince Charming. The wedding day is the ultimate day for dress up and fairytales. Hair done just right, makeup enhancing beaming faces, the perfect dress and perfect shoes…an amazing day from which dreams are made.
LaKeasha Monique Rutledge prepared herself for her day. On November, 27, 2011 she would put on her dress, have her makeup applied, and ascend the aisle toward the love of her life, Chris Draft.
Keasha, an accomplished lady with an infectious smile from Anderson County, South Carolina, graduated from Clemson University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. While there, she also became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Not only was Keasha smart and beautiful as a young lady, she was also very talented. She danced as a member of the Rally-Cats dance team for Clemson, and later became a professional cheerleader for the Charlotte Hornets. Keasha cheered with the Hornets team for about eight years.
It is while in Charlotte that she met her husband to be, Chris Draft, who had been traded to the Carolina Panthers from the Atlanta Falcons. The two courted and worked with Chris’s charitable foundations together. They would travel back to Clemson for football games on occasion.
In 2010, Keasha was diagnosed with lung cancer, though she had never been a smoker. She was working as a Senior Sales representative for Sanofi-Aventis Phramaceuticals, and had made her home in Atlanta. Chris, originally from California, had also chosen Atlanta as his home.
After years of growing together, the pair planned their beautiful wedding in Atlanta, Georgia. Keasha wore a beautiful strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. Her bridesmaids were stylishly dressed in contemporary one-shoulder slate gowns. Pink roses added a punch of color to the decor.
Although the cancer had taken over her body, Keasha rose from her wheelchair and took the last few steps down the alter toward a beaming Chris. They sat in chairs to exchange vows. She never stopped smiling.
By the time she arrived at the reception, she was accompanied by an oxygen mask. She still smiled and danced and laughed and tossed her bouquet. A moment came where she shared her dance with Chris and she lifted her finger to caress his face. He smiled.
On Tuesday, December 27, 2011, LaKeasha Monique Rutledge-Draft was called from this life. She passed away at home. It was exactly one month after her big day. The video accompanying this article, by KJR Productions, tells the story of that beautiful November day in Atlanta, Georgia.
Source: Keasha’s friend’s blog
Source: Chris Draft’s Facebook
Source: Keasha’s LinkedIn Profile