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UCHealth and the Colorado Avalanche continue to raise awareness and support patients in their fight against cancer. It’s part of an on-going partnership between the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche and UCHealth.
Their latest event was Friday night at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum. It was a watch party on the museum’s giant screen in the main lobby for cancer patients and the oncology staff, where they got to celebrate an Avalanche win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Hockey players have a reputation for being tough, so the partnership for UCHealth and their patients in the fight against cancer is fitting to inspire and encourage them.
It’s the second event recently held here as part of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. Cortney Lupo, a cancer survivor and UCHealth employee, recently dedicated a Hockey Fights Cancer bell at UCHealth Memorial North in a ceremony was that delayed a year because of the pandemic. She was also presented with a special Avalanche jersey. Now, the UCHealth Hockey Fights Cancer Avalanche bell is there for all cancer patients who complete their treatment to symbolically mark the occasion.
Cortney told me of the bell, “I think it's really important 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!"
Former Avs players like John Mitchell, as well as Bernie the mascot and the Ice Patrol, continue to make appearances in the Springs to support UCHealth patients in their fight.
For Friday night’s watch party, UCHealth was also able to bring in another important community partner. Eric Fischer is the Sports Partnership Coordinator for UCHealth and was thrilled to see Friday’s event come together. “We've been partners with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum for quite some time, but this is the first time that we were able to bring it to life through our relationship with the Avalanche as well.”
Also invited for the special night was Kelliegh Starr, another cancer survivor and UCHealth employee who recently shared her story with me about living with Lynch syndrome and surviving colon cancer.
Kelliegh told me before the party that she was looking forward to the event. “I haven't ever watched a hockey game, and so I'm really excited about taking my girls and being there and being around my coworkers and my friends and being able to support others.”
Fischer from UCHealth told me that’s what Friday night’s watch party was all about. “Getting people together in a room where the vibe and the message is really about triumph. Triumph on the ice, but of course, also for our cancer warriors too.”
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