On Oct. 8 in the club's 25th Anniversary home opener, the Ducks will continue the tradition of creating a spot on their Opening Night Roster for the 21st Duck. The honor is earned by a Ducks fan who embodies characteristics such as great perseverance, character, courage and inspiration who is making significant contributions to our community.
This year's 21st Duck is Michael Lu, a dedicated Ducks fan since 1993 who is living with Parkinson's disease. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf surprised Michael with the announcement followed by Michael joining the Ducks for a recent practice (see video above).
Michael, 29, was raised playing roller and ice hockey since age four in the Jr. Ducks program. He continued playing locally until being stricken with Parkinson's last year. Even though he cannot play at the level he once did, he works as a hockey instructor in the Ducks Learn to Play Program powered by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, where he helps grow children's hockey skills and love for the game. Michael is also studying toward his Master's Degree in Educational Psychology to counsel children with disabilities. Michael is optimistic and hopeful about life and his journey with Parkinson's. He works with the nonprofit organization Parkinson's Resource Organization as a member of the Board of Directors, and is making it his mission to take his diagnosis to help raise awareness for Parkinson's to find a cure. Michael's goal is to help inspire those with Parkinson's, and demonstrate that the disease does not define him.
Kai Quinonez and Katie Hawley were the first two honorees of the club's 21st Duck program. Both will be in attendance on Oct. 8, as Michael is introduced as part of the team that evening.