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Hockey Fights Cancer 'All-Stars' honored at Tuesday's Wild game

Club commemorates six young heroes' battles with cancer

by Kayleigh Jackson /

ST. PAUL -- Tuesday night's 3-0 Wild win against the Philadelphia Flyers saw plenty of heroics, both on and off the ice. As part of the Minnesota Wild's Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night, players wore traditional lavender warmup jerseys and, as has become league-wide custom, filled out placards honoring those afflicted with cancer. 

In addition, the Wild's six local Hockey Fights Cancer charities for 2017 chose children to represent them and become "heroes" for a day, just like their favorite Wild players.

The club invited each child and his or her family for a special photo shoot earlier this month. Donning hockey gear, lavender capes and their best serious faces, they were transformed into hockey-playing heroes.

The final images were printed on posters and delivered to their homes, providing each family a keepsake to marvel at through their paths to recovery and beyond. All six youth were then honored Tuesday night during the second intermission. 

Video: Wild honors Hockey Fights Cancer All-Stars

Drew Giuliani

Giuliani was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye, when he was just 9 months old. After chemotherapy and continued treatment, he is now in sixth grade and thriving. 

Giuliani represents the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where he returns once a year for check-ups. 

Tweet from @mnwild: Drew is a #HockeyFightsCancer All Star.At 9 months old he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye. Today, Drew is thriving.

Grant Klein

Starting kindergarten is scary enough, but doing it in the midst of intensive chemotherapy? That's even harder.

Klein is 6 years old and battling Nodular predominate lymphocyte Hodgkin's lymphoma -- a rare form of cancer. However, the week after he finished his first round of treatment, he was determined to start playing hockey, no matter what. 

In April, Klein relapsed, and in May, he had surgery. Since then, he's been monitored carefully to make sure he's in the clear. Klein represents the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Tweet from @mnwild: Grant was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. A week after finishing treatment he was determined to start his first season of hockey. Grant is a #HockeyFightsCancer All Star.

Emma Dodge

Dodge's grandfather Dave was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December of 2015 and has faced a long and difficult battle since then. Emma has been by his side throughout the ups and down, and through lots of "watchful waiting." 

Her grandfather is on the path to recovery now, and Emma -- who represents the Movember campaign -- has helped him stay strong, he says.

Tweet from @mnwild: Emma's grandpa Dave was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in 2015. Emma has been his superhero through all the "watchful waiting." She is a #HockeyFightsCancer All Star.

Griffin Dahmen

Ten-year-old Dahmen was honored on behalf of Team Tucker, which Wild forward Jason Zucker and his wife Carly helped found. Dahmen was diagnosed with a cancer called Ewing's sarcoma in 2015 after doctors discovered a baseball-sized mass in his pelvis. Thirty-six weeks of chemotherapy and over 200 nights in the U of M Masonic Children's Hospital later, the tumor was removed entirely. 

Dahmen loves sports, and while he can't always meet the physical demands of his favorite activity after such intensive chemotherapy, he's determined to live his life with the mantra "no fear." 

He is now 22 months free of evidence of the disease.

Tweet from @mnwild: Griffin is a #HockeyFightsCancer All Star. In 2015 he was diagnosed with a cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. Griffin is always fighting to bring awareness and hoping that he makes friends like Tucker proud.

Noah Miller

Representing the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, where he was first treated, Miller just turned 9 and hasn't let three years of fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia slow him down. Diagnosed in 2012, he has since undergone several rounds of blood transfusions, hospital stays and chemotherapy.

Miller is now cancer-free and loves to play soccer, football and -- of course -- hockey.

Tweet from @mnwild: When Noah was 3 he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Today he is cancer free and loves playing soccer, football and hockey. He is a #HockeyFightsCancer All Star.

Olivia Adams

Adams was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September of 2016, right after starting first grade. The Pinky Swear Foundation honoree has had to manage a long and intensive plan of chemotherapy for her high-risk disease as well as the residual side effects inherent to the treatment.

She still has a long road ahead of her, with about a year and a half of treatment left, but she loves to go to school and play outside whenever she can to keep her spirits up.

Tweet from @mnwild: Last year, Olivia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She still has a long road ahead for treatment, but has put up an amazing fight so far. She is a #HockeyFightsCancer All Star.

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