The Detroit Red Wings hosted their ‘Hockey Fights Cancer Night’ against the New York Rangers on Saturday — along with seven other NHL teams that also had their tribute Saturday evening.
Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings starting goaltender, came out with flashy pink pads, a blocker and glove to represent cancer awareness.
The Red Wings hosted five families that were entered into a competition and won a night in a “Survivor Suite,” where members of the family had the chance to interact and get to know stories of other cancer victims.
The Yons family, consisting of Candy Yons and her children Alicia and Isaac, were given special treatment Saturday evening. They had the chance to watch pregame warm-ups from the penalty box and then moved up to an even more executive location at Joe Louis Arena — Henrik Zetterberg’s suite.
Alicia Yons, who is undergoing treatment for astrocytoma, was extremely excited to get this opportunity.
“I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s amazing that the Red Wings make a day for children and others who have cancer,” she said.
Before the game on Saturday, there were “story cards” laid out on each seat at the Joe Louis where each fan had the opportunity to recognize an associate, friend or family member who has survived, been diagnosed or affected by this traitorous disease.
While the Red Wings were hosting families at the game, they wanted to make sure that they were impacting the Detroit community, along with cancer patients alike.
A bone marrow registration drive was held in partnership with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS.
DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world. With just a quick swab of each cheek, a donor can be entered into the Be The Match Registry®, the largest and most diverse bone marrow database in the world, dedicated to matching donors with patients from countries far and wide in the quest to save the lives of those in need of a transplant.
One could only imagine the feeling in the arena when, during a break in the middle of the first period, there was a tribute to all the names listed on every single card that was in the arena and written upon.
Candy Yons was extremely appreciative of this event that the Red Wings hosted. Her son, Isaac, who is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is also a huge Red Wings fan. “Hockey is great for raising awareness,” Isaac said. “This is so much fun.”
Although the Red Wings ended up losing the game, there was more than just a 60-minute hockey game victory to be gained from this very special event.
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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
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Austin Goodman is the host of Octopi Hockeytown for Impact Sports.