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I am honored and humbled to be selected as one of forty players playing in the world's longest hockey game to fight cancer outside in the elements. That's right 252 hours of hockey!
Why does this mean so much to me? I'll tell you my story...
Cancer has been a part of my life since I was a little kid. I lost my Grandpa (Grampy) when I was 5 years old but cancer didn't stop there. A few years later my Aunt Kiki and then my Aunt Susan lost their respective battles way to early. A decade later my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and only given a small chance to live. Fortunately, revolutionary treatment and perseverance allowed my dad nearly 15 extra years and a chance to know my kids. In the years that followed, my mom dealt with her second bout with cancer and my step-father was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Luckily, both are cancer free today due to their courage and quick treatment. In addition I have several other family members (my sister, aunts, uncles and grandparents) who are fighting or have lost their fight to this horrible disease.
Cut to 2020... My sister in-law Natasha Cassick (Hubbell) was diagnosed with a melanoma that was removed from her leg in January. The surgery was effective and we celebrated Tasha's clean cancer screening in late July. Just a few weeks later, Tasha went into urgent care for what she thought was a cold but turned out to be an ultra aggressive metastasis of the melanoma which developed in her lung. Tasha didn't get much of a chance to fight, even with some of Roswell's best doctors, and she passed away in October at just 31 years old. As a family member, neighbor and one of our closest friends, this was devastating.
My love for hockey was shared by my dad my entire life and I would have applied for this event for that reason. The loss of Tasha this year was my final straw... its time for action. The chance to play hockey for 11 straight days and raise awareness for melanoma (and early detection) seemed like something I needed to do. So here I am. Please consider supporting me in my quest to freeze out cancer.
Proceeds of the event will support cutting-edge cancer research and wellness programs at Roswell Park, Make-A-Wish WNY, Camp Good Days and Roswell Park and Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program.
Check out 11daypowerplay.com for more information.
Checks can be made payable to
The 11 Day Power Play.
PO. Box 4
Buffalo, NY 14223
Together, we can make a difference in the fight against cancer!