Not a day goes by that Michael Dal Colle doesn't consider himself fortunate to have an opportunity to do what he enjoys most: play forward for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.
It's something he understood early in life and won't ever take for granted.
His role model is his older brother, Jonluca Dal Colle, who is autistic. His hero is his mother, Wendy Dal Colle, who seven years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer but fought the fight and has been cleared since 2009.
"My mom is a huge role model for me in my life after all she's been through, in raising her kids, a special-needs son; it's pretty powerful," Michael Dal Colle told NHL.com. "Obviously, in the back of my mind, everything I do is for her. I hope I can help her even more in the future."
Dal Colle has two siblings, Jonluca and a sister, Daniela, who played NCAA Division I hockey at Niagara University.
"Jonluca is a great guy and the other role model in my life," Dal Colle said. "He's had it hard, growing up. It's tough, but it has made us a stronger family. It makes me a better person. It's different, but I'm so used to it now and he's someone special in my life for sure; an important addition to the family."