ST. LOUIS - Brett Barczewski was diagnosed with leukemia in May and was scheduled to undergo chemotherapy treatment on Monday. Instead, he was at Norwood Hills Country Club playing 18 holes with Blues forward Chris Stewart.
It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. Chemo would have to wait until Tuesday.
“He’s a special young man,” Stewart said. “You know even though he’s battling his own battle in life, he’s out here today just having fun. It’s great to see. It’s motivating, it’s energizing and very humbling at the same time."
Barczewski and Stewart were participating in the Blues 14 Fund Golf Classic on Monday. The entry cost is $2,500 for each foursome and includes brunch, 18 holes of golf with a Blues celebrity, and dinner. Additional money was raised through live and silent auctions, with proceeds benefiting the Blues 14 Fund.
This year, a portion of the money raised will be donated to the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.
And thanks to a partnership between the Blues' charity and Friends of Kids with Cancer, Barczewski got to play for free.
“Anytime you can give back and take time out of your day to come out here…something as simple as playing a game of golf with a kid…it’s going to go so far for him,” Stewart said. “We’re having a great day.”
"You’re having so much fun, sometimes you forget how important the cause is," said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. "Doing this every year and seeing the same faces just goes to show how great the community (is) that we have here in St. Louis. Everyone is willing to contribute.”
The Blues 14 Fund was established in 1998 to honor former Blues player Doug Wickenheiser, who passed away in 1999 after a long battle with cancer. Through events like Monday’s golf tournament, the Blues 14 Fund has contributed more than $3 million to the St. Louis community in areas that include cancer research, education and youth hockey.
Friends of Kids with Cancer, who has adopted Barczewski since his diagnosis, has received grants in the past from the Blues 14 Fund.
“Doug (Wickenheiser) was a great guy that went through a lot of things in his life with the cancer,” said former Blues defenseman Bob Plager, who served as a celebrity golfer in Monday's tournament. “We miss him and we still talk about him. He had a lot of friends in this city.
"It’s sad, and we miss Doug, but he’s raising a lot of money for charity.”