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The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Isles Fight Cancer - Donna's Fight

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

As part of Hockey Fights Cancer, the New York Islanders are giving voice to you. If you, or a loved one has been impacted by cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Please send along submissions to Today, Jim shares a story about his wife, Donna. 

My story is about my wife Donna and Casey Cizikas. My family lives in Mississauga, Ontario Canada and my son Jeff and Casey became friends in Grade 1 and remain friends to this day. Our two families have known each other since then as well.

My wife is a three-time cancer survivor. She had breast cancer twice, the second time coming when our boys were just starting high school. Everyday my wife drove Jeff and our daughter Jess home and everyday Casey came over to our car and asked Donna how she was feeling. My wife was quite touched by this and is something she still remembers.

Mississauga’s junior team – then called the Majors – had a Breast Cancer Awareness Night where they painted the ice pink and had pink added to the uniforms. Donna was asked to drop the puck for ceremonial faceoff with another cancer survivor. The Mayor of Mississauga and Don Cherry were on hand for this ceremony as well. The captain of the Majors was injured so Casey, an assistant captain, stepped in for the faceoff which made the moment extra special for Donna.

Last year during the Islanders Fight Cancer Night, there was a picture on your website of Casey & Matt Martin holding “I Fight For” signs. Casey had my wife’s name on his card. Donna was honoured that Casey had done this.

Donna had been cancer-free for eight years, but a week or two after the Isles Fight Cancer night, we found out that the cancer had returned. This time it was ovarian cancer and that there was a large mass in her abdomen. In early January she endured over seven hours on the operating table having this mass removed. The doctor was very confident that he removed all of the mass. In September she had follow up tests and things looked good which was quite a relief.

Donna is a true fighter and survivor. She has the most positive outlook on life as friends and family will agree with. She is definitely my hero.

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