Why Hockey Fights Cancer is Important
Everyone has a story, no matter what the sport. Almost every player and team staff, be it ownership, management, a scout, or a coach behind the bench, is fighting for something. I don’t just mean winning games and winning a championship. I mean battles that lie beyond sports. While I’m sure that almost every sport has some type of charity organization or program affiliation or initiative, there’s one that hockey has that I personally feel is very important. It’s Hockey Fights Cancer.
As all you hockey fans may know already, this month is Hockey Fights Cancer month, already kicked off earlier this week by the Anaheim Ducks in their game against the Minnesota Wild on the 18th.
Cancer is one of those pain in the ass diseases that will never go away, and it’s a very dangerous and life threatening disease if not treated beforehand. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death worldwide. From 2008-2012, the number of cancer cases is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women each year; the number of cancer-related deaths is 171.2 per 100,000 men and women annually. This year alone, according to the Wiley Online Library, there are an estimated 1.6 million cancer cases total and almost 600,000 estimated deaths.
So far, it seems the highlight of this week’s Hockey Fights Cancer pregame dedications has been 5-year-old Max Mitchell, who was invited to ice-level for the ceremonial puck drop by the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. The video can be seen below:
Since I’m a Sharks fan, my team’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night will be tomorrow night when they face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes, and personally I’m thinking about my grandma on my father’s side, who passed away about two years ago now from lung cancer.
My grandma never knew a thing about hockey. The thing about my family is that none of them really got into sports. None of them are die-hard fans of any team (except me now), much less casual fans except my dad. Thus the majority of the time I’d known her from my early childhood up until she succumbed to cancer, I’d never really been much of a sports fan. Well, that changed in 2010 when I was introduced indirectly to hockey in school. If you want to read that story, you can check it out here.
Anyway, over the years, as I’d become more aware of the initiative and knowing how much different people — including athletes and organizations — are supporting different charities and noble causes, I’d started to think to myself “how different would my life and perspective have been if I had gotten into hockey earlier and really known about Hockey Fights Cancer?” That said, she fought a valiant battle and was always known to be one for great optimism. I still miss her to this day.
Here is the calendar for all the Hockey Fights Cancer Nights for this month.
If you have a Hockey Fights Cancer story, feel free to share with us in the comments below!