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Karels, Dubnyk Team Up To Fundraise For Charities

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

When Devan Dubnyk said he first met 15-year-old Josh Karels, he would have never known something was wrong. 

"Anybody that's able to show that kind of strength," Dubnky said, "it’s special."

Karels' story, which has not only inspired the State of Hockey, but also an entire country of hockey fans and observers is one that, like so many people, caught Dubnyk's attention.

So Dubnyk went to Karels, wanting to do something to help out the 15-year-old local Bantam A player. 

Karels suffers from a terminal immune-deficiency disease, but has kept playing hockey despite being in-and-out of hospitals.

But when Dubnyk offerd his assistance to Karels, Karels counter-offered that the two team up to help raise money for, as Karels puts it, " … people who need it more than myself."

"It feels good to give back," Karels said Friday in front of a backdrop at Xcel Energe Center, standing next to Dubnyk. "It just means a lot that I'm helping out other people."

An auction was held, and items such as a replica version of Dubnyk's Stadium Series mask were bid on. In all, $7,400 was raised, which was in turn donated on Friday to two charities of Karels' choosing.

"I wanted to do something for him, and the first thing that he thought was to do something for other people, and that just shows what kind of kid he is," Dubnyk said.

The two charities, the Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation and the Herb Brooks Foundation, are two local foundations with strong hockey ties.

On Friday, Karels and Dubnyk presented identical $3,700 checks to the respective charities.

"I know how it feels," Karels said. "It's not fun being sick, and not being able to do the stuff you like, and have fun doing it. It helps them out."

Karels, who was the BMO flag bearer for the Stadium Series game, will perform the "Let's Play Hockey" announcement prior to the Wild's regular season finale.

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