Red Wings and the NHL Help Fight Cancer


Hockey means the absolute world to me, Red Wings hockey however, means even more. Red Wings hockey and the love I have for it is the reason I write for Octopus Thrower. I saw my first Stanley Cup the in the 2008 season when the team beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. I have clippings from that Cup run still on my wall; I have little items that are marked with the Winged Wheel throughout my room. Red Wings hockey means the world to me.

On Friday the Red Wings take on the Ottawa Senators, that night is also the Red Wings “Hockey Fights Cancer” night. It is a night that the team wears purple which is the color for the awareness of cancer of all kinds. For the longest time these nights were cool to me, I’d watch the tear jerking videos of people who fought cancer and seeing them be able to drop the opening puck before the game. All in all, it is a great thing the National Hockey League does every year. Yet, it never meant much to me; I just wanted to watch the hockey.

Now it means something to me.

Now the “Hockey Fights Cancer” nights and month means a lot more to me because I have brain cancer. I’ve known I’ve had brain cancer for about 8 months now. I found out in March of 2015, there was no warning or signs. I had just turned 21, was a full-time student, and writing at my old FanSided site Detroit Jock City. It was a sudden event, after having a few seizures I had test done and a stay in the hospital that took me out of my daily life and routine. I couldn’t write, I couldn’t go to school and was looking at going under the knife to figure out what the masses in my head meant for my future.

However, there was a constant; the Detroit Red Wings. I watched two games while I was in the hospital. I watched a 0-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens and a 3-2 SO win against the Chicago Blackhawks. They were a great take away from everything else going on. When I got home from the hospital I was on bed rest for about a week or so, the thing that kept me from going crazy and positive; Red Wings hockey. That week worked out very well because sleeping was hard and the Red Wings were on a West coast road trip.

When I found out I had brain cancer in March, that same day, the Red Wings lost to the San Jose Sharks 6-4. Even with the loss, my mind was taken away from the fact that I had cancer and I was happy because I could get away from this terrible and dark moment in my life and go to this brighter part. That weekend I got to see my team beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0.

Chemotherapy started a little while after that and nights when I felt sick as a dog and didn’t want to really do anything, again, there was Red Wings hockey. The playoffs started and hockey was the constant in my life again. I was registered for classes for the Fall semester and I was writing about sports again. Everyone around me felt so sad for me because I had cancer. They were sad that a young 21-year-old was given the short end of the stick by life. Yet, I was happy, it didn’t bother me, I had hockey in my life still, most importantly, I had Red Wings hockey.

I don’t know why I got cancer, I lived a healthy life, played sports growing up and nothing would have made you think there was a ticking time bomb in my head. I have learned nothing will ever make sense when it comes to explaining why I have three tumors in my head. Some people want answers to why, I just move on and enjoy the things in life I love, mostly sports, especially hockey. In the end, it sucks, but you move on with life and live each day a little bit more than the day before. Like Gatsby you continue to have hope in the green light on the other side of the bay.

So this year the “Hockey Fights Cancer” night will mean a lot more to me now. I’m a part of the reason they have these nights. The money the league raises through the auctions of purple jerseys, signed sticks, and all the other things along with the charity events helps give people like me, people affected by cancer a chance for a better life. It gives us a chance to see a cure for cancer to be found, to make a cure possible for everyone who has to live a daily life with cancer. I have a long unknown road ahead of me and I’m not fully sure where it goes. However the one constant in my life; hockey, especially Red Wings hockey will keep me looking forward. The tag line for the month that hockey fights cancer is; I fight for “insert name”.

Here is mine;

I fight for everyone and anyone touched by cancer.

If you would like to support the NHL and the fight against cancer you can do so by going to to donate.

Next: It's Time For The Red Wings To Tighten Up

More from Octopus Thrower