Hockey Fights Cancer is a component of the NHL's ‘Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice’ campaign and is a joint initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association to raise money and awareness for hockey's most important fight.
To date, more than $11 million has been raised to support national and local cancer research institutions, Children's Hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.”
The Boston Bruins Foundation directed the in game fund-raising and 50/50 proceeds to benefit the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care.
Off-ice members of Bruins organization wore special cancer awareness ties, pins, and ribbons. Select members of the on-ice team, including goaltender Tim Thomas
, wore Hockey Fights Cancer hats in the locker room and decals on their helmets.
Kim Kennedy, a local photographer who is battling cancer, came to snap photos of Boston-area children currently being treated for pediatric cancer.
TJ, who has been fighting cancer for ten years, talked excitedly about meeting his favorite B’s players, Johnny Boychuk
and Patrice Bergeron
, who came by the photo shoot after morning skate.
Even chemotherapy couldn’t keep TJ from playing the sport he loves.
“He’d have to be in chemo for four days and we’d be like, ‘What are you doing?’ and he’d be like, ‘I’m going to go play in my hockey game,’” said his mom with a laugh.
“He’s going to go in for some reconstruction surgery you know, probably within two years. They’re going to take a bone out his leg and put it in his jaw. He’s not out of the woodworks yet,” she explained.
“He’s got good spirit and I think that’s what helps.”
Kennedy agreed and said that being involved with the fundraiser and having the opportunity to be with the kids is helping him in his own journey.
But how does anyone stay positive while fighting such a long battle?
“I’ll tell you one thing. Shooting them? It can’t be good for the cancer. Because I’m smiling. They’re smiling.
“These kids are incredible. They’re lighting up. There’s nothing wrong with them.
“I’m sticking with that. They’re healing me today. We’re all healing each other."