”We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.” Cancer survivor Lance Armstrong.
SUNRISE – When the Panthers hit the ice Friday evening against the Flyers at BankAtlantic Center, not only will they try to secure their second victory of the season but they’ll also hope to raise awareness and money for Hockey Fights Cancer.
Over the past 10 seasons, the joint charitable initiative founded by the NHL and Players’ Association has raised more than $10.5 million through its Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Nights at NHL rinks throughout North America.
As part of Hockey Fights Cancer night at BankAtlantic Center, Panthers coaches and staff will wear ties colored lavender, which represents awareness of all cancers. There will also be mystery pucks signed by Panthers players for a $25 donation. One-of-a-kind, Hockey Fights Cancer apparel is available at nhl.com. Stephen Weiss
witnessed the damage cancer can do when he playing junior hockey.
“My billet in juniors when I was 17 had cervical cancer,” Weiss recalled. “When you’re with someone who has it, when you’re living with someone who has it, it hits you hard. I saw it first hand. I saw what it does to the kids. It’s tough. It wasn’t easy. My roommate and I had to pick her up sometimes or take her to her treatments and it was tough to see the people suffering.
“We have to figure out a way to find a cure for that disease. Its killing too many people and too many people are sick with it and its destroying families. It seems like everyone you talk either knows someone or is affected in some way by it. So it’s important to do these things and raise as much awareness as we can.”
Tomas Vokoun worked with a number of people through his charity with various cancer.
“Sooner or later it seems everyone is faced with it, and it seems more common as you get older,” he said. “ My grandfather died of brain cancer, but I was small when he died and it wasn’t the same experience like I would have now. But (Hockey Fights Cancer) is absolutely a great thing to raise awareness and funding for research.”
Said Nathan Horton; “It’s definitely a scary thing, but it can happen to anyone. That’s why I think (Hockey Fights Cancer) is a good reminder for us all.”