Friday, March 11, 2016

Scoring off the ice


a junior on the Harvard Hockey team, with MGHfC pals

On Feb.20, patients from the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) Hematology and Oncology Clinic traveled to Harvard University’s season-ending home game against Colgate University. Tickets were coordinated by Kyle Criscuolo, co-captain of the Harvard University Men’s Hockey team, and Adam La Reau, a former Navy SEAL and founder of One Summit, a program that helps pediatric cancer patients build courage and self-confidence to fight the disease.

The patients first met the Harvard players in January when they took to the ice for an afternoon skate and pizza party.

“While teaching the kids to skate, we realized the kids were teaching us more about resiliency and embracing adversity than we could ever teach them,” says Criscuolo. “We’re in awe of their courage and feel fortunate to have gotten to know each of them.” 

During last month’s game, MGHfC patients, their siblings and families watched Harvard defeat Colgate from the seats typically reserved for players’ friends and family in the Bright-Landy Hockey Center.The honorary guests were then ushered into the tunnels of the rink and emerged in the team’s locker room, where they again had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with their newfound friends. 

Donning Harvard jerseys – a gift made possible by Harvard COOP’s Manager Jerry Murphy and the Director of Community Relations Tom Lucey – the patients received another special surprise gift – hockey sticks from the players. In return, the players received thank you notes and support signs.

“Whether you’re a Navy SEAL, a hockey player, or a patient undergoing cancer treatment, having someone by your side while battling adversity is so important,” says La Reau. “As part of our relationship with Harvard, we’ve joined our little warriors together with new supportive teammates to help even the odds in their battle against cancer.”

Howard Weinstein, MD, director of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at MGHfC, agrees. “The collaboration between our Child Life Team and One Summit has continued to benefit our patients and their families by fostering these positive, role modeling relationships. Through these growing friendships, our young patients share experiences that can strengthen their resolve while allowing them to have fun.”

Read more articles from the 03/11/16 Hotline issue.

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