MONTREAL - Throughout November, as part of the National Hockey League's Hockey Fights Cancer program, the Montreal Canadiens are taking part in various initiatives to emphasize the courage of those living with or moving past cancer as well as to raise funds and awareness for the cause. In Quebec, one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER NIGHT - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019
On Saturday, November 23, the Montreal Canadiens will dedicate their home game against the New York Rangers to the children of Leucan, an association that has dedicated itself over the past 40 years to supporting cancer-stricken children and their families. Over 50 young Leucan members, along with their parents, will attend the game at the Bell Centre, where they will experience an unforgettable evening thanks to the generosity of corporate suite holders who have generously offered to host them. After attending a pre-game reception hosted by the players' spouses, ten of these children will watch the pre-game warm-up from the players' bench, while a dozen other kids will stand alongside the players of both teams on the blue line during the national anthems. The starting line-up will be announced by Josh, an 18-year-old hockey fan who was diagnosed last June with Burkitt lymphoma, the same type of cancer Saku Koivu suffered from. All children invited by Leucan for this very special evening will also enjoy a post-game meet and greet with a few Canadiens players along with Youppi!, the team's mascot.
As soon as the doors open, "I Fight For" cards will be displayed on each of the 21,303 Bell Centre seats. Fans will be invited to write down the name of a loved one who is currently battling or who has already fought a battle against cancer, before standing up and showing their card in support of all those affected by this disease during the second stoppage in play of the first period. Fans at home can also join the fight against cancer by downloading and personalizing their own "I Fight For" card, taking a picture of their sign and sharing it on social media using the hashtag #HockeyFightsCancer.
As in previous years, the coaching staff and team management will be wearing specially designed lavender Hockey Fights Cancer ties on Saturday. During the warm-up period, players will put lavender tape on their sticks and wear jerseys of the same colour, which will then be autographed and auctioned off on cancer.signaturepro.ca. Fans wishing to get their hands on these collectibles will have until Saturday, November 30 to bid on them, and all the profits raised will be donated to Leucan, whose mission is to promote the recovery and well-being of cancer-stricken children and support their families by providing distinctive and tailored services and assistance through every stage of the disease and its side-effects. Last year, Leucan donated more than $830,000 to clinical research in pediatric oncology to fight cancer and thus improve both treatments as well as the odds of survival so that all children affected by this illness can hope to reach adulthood.
Since the beginning of November, a group of 11 Canadiens players have been participating in Movember to raise funds and awareness about men's health. By funding research and by encouraging men to get involved, Movember tackles the three biggest health issues facing men, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. While this campaign is soon coming to an end, Canadiens players are inviting members of the public to join them and create their own profile to compete with other fundraisers on the organization's website. To join the team or to support their efforts, visit movember.com/canadiens.
About Hockey Fights Cancer
Hockey Fights Cancer unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families. The initiative gets an assist from players, coaches, officials, broadcasters, equipment managers, front office staff, corporate partners, and fans. Together, the hockey community looks to inspire hope and courage for those who are living with, going through and moving past cancer. The program was founded in 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association. Since its inception, the Hockey Fights Cancer programs of the National Hockey League Foundation (in the US) and the NHL Foundation (in Canada), along with NHL Clubs, supporters and fans, have donated more than $25 million to support the cancer programs of national and local cancer research institutions, children's hospitals, player charities and local charities.