RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today released a statement on behalf of the organization about the passing of Julia Rowe. Rowe, 8, who endured a long battle with leukemia, passed away early Tuesday morning.
“We were deeply saddened to hear the news about Julia, but we continue to be inspired by just how many people she touched during her much-too-short life,” said Rutherford. “She helped to provide motivation for Peter (Laviolette), our players and our fans during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2006, and we will all remember the image of her at the victory parade, wearing her pink hat and posing with the Stanley Cup.
“Julia will be missed, but it is clear from the many letters, emails and phone calls we are already receiving at our offices that she will live on in the hearts of a whole lot of people, for a long time.”
Inspired by Rowe, her neighbor and Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette started a fundraising campaign during the team’s playoff run in 2006 to raise awareness and money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Through the sale of wristbands and autographed bottles of Shafer Vineyards’ Relentless wine, proceeds from the Friesen 5k Fun Run and private donations, the campaign raised more than $60,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society from April to September 2006.
The Rowe family provided the following statement on Wednesday:
“The Rowe family wishes to express our appreciation to our friends in the Hurricanes organization and the community at large during the Relentless campaign in 2006. At that time, Julia was the face of leukemia representing all children that fight the disease and a personality who motivated a community to work toward new treatments where few are available today. Julia’s untimely death is a reminder that, while many children fight leukemia, there are far too many that don’t win that fight.
“While we were happy to use Julia’s story to raise awareness during that time, now is a time for our family and friends to remember and celebrate Julia as much more than a child fighting leukemia. We ask that the media respect our privacy and the privacy of our family and friends – especially those in the Hurricanes organization. The ceremonies honoring Julia’s life this week are also private and we ask that the media respect that privacy too.
“Thank you again to everyone who supports our family and mourns with us.”
-The Rowe Family
Hurricanes Head Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach Pete Friesen will dedicate this year’s Friesen 5k Fun Run to Julia Rowe. The third annual Friesen 5k Fun Run is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 14, at the RBC Center, and all proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For more information, please visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com or www.ncraces.com.
In lieu of flowers, the Rowe family has asked that donations may be made to the “Building Our Community of Faith” Fund, In memory of Julia Rowe, c/o St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 804 High House Rd., Cary, NC, 27513. All proceeds will go toward naming a classroom in Julia’s memory.