COLORADO SPRINGS — In today's Your Healthy Family we’re on the road at UCHealth Memorial Memorial North, just outside the main entrance. This is the hospital’s healing garden, where there was a very special dedication ceremony for a cancer bell, traditionally rung when someone finishes their course of treatment.
As part of a partnership between the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche and UCHealth, a small group gathered there today with Cortney Lupo, a cancer survivor and a UCHealth employee to dedicate this Hockey Fights Cancer bell. The ceremony was delayed from this time last year due to the pandemic.
Cortney says, “I think it's really important for them, for anyone who's survived cancer, to be able to have a signification of the end of your treatment. To say that ‘you know what? I've kicked cancer in the butt.’”
Representing the Avalanche at UCHealth Memorial Hospital North were former player John Mitchell, Bernie the mascot and the Ice Patrol, who presented Cortney with a special Hockey Fights Cancer Avalanche jersey.
Cortney read a poem, and then as part of today’s dedication, rang the bell three times, as she did over a year ago when her cancer treatment ended.
“When I had my (bell) ceremony, I just did it by myself with my friends from work, my work family from the Cancer Center … so this was really special to me to have my family here today to share this. It was huge.” This time, Cortney was joined by her husband, sons, mom and aunt.
Mitchell and the other VIP’s with the Avalanche then visited with patients in the infustion center at Memorial North, sharing Avalanche schwag and autographs while spending time with these patients who were literally in the middle of their fight against cancer.
Having traveled that road herself, and as a hockey fan, Cortney says the partnership between the NHL, the Avalanche and UCHealth to fight cancer makes perfect sense. Hockey players are known for their toughness.
“One of the everybody’s favorite thing to do is go and watch a hockey fight, right? And this is the fight of your life so to be able to come and do this (ring the cancer bell) and have the Avalanche support it is huge. For you to be in the fight of your life and be able to ring this bell that has the Avalanche logo on it signifies you're not in this alone and you have everybody here to support you.”
Cortney also says she wants to urge everyone to be current on all their appropriate cancer screenings, because catching cancer early is often the biggest key to being able to fight the good fight, ring the bell and move on with the rest of your life.
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