I really love being a Hockey Dad. Since I didn’t play hockey as a kid, I relish the experiences of life at the rink as I watch my oldest daughter plays her favourite sport (and mine). There are some crazy hours and early mornings and there can be a lot of driving, but it’s all worth it. I don’t suppose that makes me different at all from any of the other hockey parents. We all love watching our kids play and are proud to help them do so.
What does make me have a different perspective on watching my kid play hockey is that my 10-year-old hockey playing daughter is a cancer survivor, who lost her kidney to cancer surgery one week after her fifth birthday.
Luckily for us, our daughter fought back and conquered her cancer. Now, our family does what we can to raise money to help the fight against cancer. So when I first learned about Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer, a dawn-to-dusk fundraising event centred on a massive road hockey game, I jumped at the chance to volunteer and fundraise.
When you sit for hours in a hospital, waiting to find out if your child made it through surgery to remove her cancerous kidney, you have a lot of time to think. When you see your kid hooked up to tubes to receive chemotherapy treatments, you get angry and want to fix it. When you see your five-year-old daughter lose all her hair, you realize it’s time to fight back.
Five years have now passed. My daughter has long since completed her chemotherapy. Her hair grew back by the following year. And two years ago, after watching the Winter Olympics and being inspired by the Women’s hockey team, my daughter decided she wanted to play hockey. I have three girls, so I never really gave much thought to being a hockey dad. Mostly, that’s because none of my daughters ever expressed much interest in watching hockey for more than 5 minutes, let alone play it. So when my daughter asked if she could play, of course I said “Yes!” and she is now primed to start her third year in hockey, her second in Atom.
Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer is staging three different events across the country in the fall – September 22nd in Edmonton, September 29th in Toronto, and October 13th in Vancouver. It means that, if you live in one of those three cities, you have plenty of time to start a team and fundraise, or sign up to volunteer. If you’re in Vancouver, please click here for more information on how to participate.
If that’s not possible, then I have a simple request: please donate. Every single dollar helps.
Funds raised through Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer support the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of Canadians living with cancer. When you make a gift to the Society, your money will help to:
- fund the most promising research projects in the country on all types of cancer
- provide information services and support programs in the community
- advocate for public policies that prevent cancer and help those living with it
My daughter is about to receive her five-year clear. If you don’t know someone who has had cancer (unfortunately, chances are you do know someone), a five-year clear is a BIG deal. It means that you have been clear of all signs of cancer for five years. For my daughter and her particular diagnosis, it also means that there is a greater than 98% chance that she will stay cancer-free.
If you aren’t in any of those three cities, or you would like to help with a donation, here is my fundraising page where you can donate.