Beyond the Playbook: Hockey Fights Cancer night in Hermantown scores on and off the ice
Each year, it’s estimated that nearly two million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States. While it’s a fight that many people go through, it’s one that doesn’t need to be fought alone.
Last week’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night in Hermantown proved that, as teams from Hermantown and Duluth East played for the good cause.
The beneficiary on the Hermantown side, was Jodi McShane, who is currently battling stage 3 breast cancer.
“I went in in March. I had a mammogram and ultrasound and then a biopsy the same day, and a couple of days after that, my doctor called me with the results and told me that I had breast cancer. From there it was just kind of a whirlwind,” said McShane.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in every 8 women will develop breast cancer in their life. For McShane and others though, sports can be an outlet to take your mind off the situation.
“I mean, sports takes the brains away from everything,” said Natalie Zeleznikar, a Minnesota State Representative. “I mean, when I was sick, I’d watch either great movie and laugh or watch sports, you know, watch hockey, because that’s what you did. You watch hockey all the time.”
While the competition on the ice was important to those in the stands, what was happening off it was the true atraction.
A silent auction, with signed sticks and pictures, pucks, and more, along with a chuck a puck, were all ways to donate to the cause.
While youth sports bring together families and players of all ages, it’s hockey that sticks out the most.
“Hockey is a great thing, but the camaraderie that comes with it, from the families and the time you spend traveling to other rinks and practices and then, you know, dads are coaching and moms are in concession stands and helping with fundraisers and everything else,” added Zeleznikar. “It’s really a family affair. It’s just a wonderful atmosphere to be around.”
“I just want to say thank you,” said McShane. “We’ve been really touched by the families that have supported us. Our coworkers, the sports family and everybody, the hockey community. We just are so blessed and so lucky. I just want to thank them all. It wasn’t anything that we expected. I’m just overwhelmed. So thank you.”