Hockey Fights Cancer, a joint charitable initiative of the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association, joined forces with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) during the 2010-11 season to take a shot at pediatric cancer.
To recognize the impact of the partnership, Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, John Tavares and Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders and Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Richards of the New York Rangers joined Dr. Adolfo Ferrando of Columbia University -- whose work is focused on T-Cell leukemia -- and representatives of LLS at NHL headquarters on Thursday to present a plaque to Hockey Fights Cancer thanking it for its support in the fight to eradicate pediatric cancer.
Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. The money raised through the campaign is funding an LLS portfolio of 10 pediatric cancer research grants, including one supporting the work of Dr. Ferrando.
Among the teams that participated were the Anaheim Ducks and the Washington Capitals. The partnership between LLS's Orange County Chapter and the Ducks included promotions on the team's website, in publications and on Ducks radio broadcasts. The Ducks dedicated a game to LLS and presented a generous check to support cancer research. Many other chapters also made successful connections with their teams. The Capitals dedicated a game to LLS during which LLS-honored patients were recognized on center ice. The Capitals made special jerseys with LLS colors and the HFC patch that players wore during pregame warmups, then auctioned the autographed shirts during the game.
"LLS is extremely grateful to the NHL, the Players and the entire hockey community and its fans for coming together to support this effort," LLS president and CEO John Walter said. "These funds will be a tremendous help to researchers such as Dr. Ferrando who are working hard to beat childhood cancer."