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Dumba aims to help billet family knock out blood cancers

Raising money to find a cure has become a family tradition

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

Matt Dumba's desire to make a difference in the fight against cancer is, like so many others, a personal venture. 

The Wild defenseman, on the shelf since December following a surgical procedure on his right pectoralis muscle, hasn't allowed the injury to slow down his desire to do good in the community.

Two years ago, Dumba jumped at the opportunity to help Dylan Conway, his younger "brother" of the billet family he stayed with during his time with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

Dylan, inspired by the battle of a classmate who fought the disease, was nominated for the 2017 Student of the Year fundraising award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), a competition between high school students across the country to raise money for blood and bone cancer research and treatment.

Now the Conway family is at it again.

Tweet from @mnwild: .@Matt_Dumba's little billet sister, Lily, is raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society & he needs YOUR help. It's not just another fundraiser, this one hits close to home for Dumba ��� #HockeyFightsCancer

Dylan's younger sister, Lily, is a high school sophomore, and along with a fellow classmate, Emma Laboe, the two are partnering for the 2019 LLS Students of the Year. 

Their goal: Raise $50,000 for cancer research by March 3. Dumba hopes to help them in that effort.

"I'm really proud - of both Dylan and Lily taking the initiative. It's really a tribute to their parents Joe and Hillary," Dumba said. "They were so welcoming to me in Portland even though it was a short time. I've got to know them staying in touch over the last several years and to see the type of people that they're growing into, it's awesome. 

"They're truly one of a kind, such a caring, big-hearted family. That's what I love about it."

Dumba's hopes for a cure come at a time especially sensitive to him. He lost his uncle to cancer just in the last couple of weeks. 

A longtime family friend of his was just recently diagnosed with LLS, the same form of cancer the Lily and Emma are raising money to help beat. 

"With everything that goes on day to day, I think people get caught up, and you sometimes forget about those really hard days you might've had to go through with someone battling cancer," Dumba said. "For those people and how strong they were and how long they fight ... I really don't want to ever be someone not to give back to those people, those families who are hurting."

For more information on Lily and Emma's campaign to help knock out blood cancers, or to donate, please visit their website. Any fans that use this link to donate will be eligible to win an autographed stick or an autographed jersey from Dumba.


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