As any hockey player knows, pursuing the sport we love takes not only personal commitment and hard work but also support from dedicated parents and family members. It is with this thought in mind that we proudly launch a new section of our site for the 2011/12 season titled “The VU Hockey Family.” I am excited and humbled to kick off this tradition with a few quick words about my wonderful family and, in particular, my mother Ruth.
Woman Warrior with a Cause
In the summer of 2004, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the support of family and friends, and her larger than life spirituality and grit, she conquered the disease. Four years later, the cancer struck once more. In stride, she arose victorious yet again.
For a team whose rallying mantra in 2010/11 was “resilience,” my Vanderbilt hockey experience served as an extension of the off-ice courage and strength my family members have demonstrated for close to a decade now. My mother’s determination throughout her struggle continues to bolster my commitment to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere does that feeling come to life more than on the ice with my Vanderbilt hockey teammates. It’s my honor and privilege to share this inspiration with the masses via this platform as I know others can glean strength from her personal fortitude.
My kid sister, Allie, created the following video documenting her and my mother’s 40-mile trek across our nation’s capital as part of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer last May. More than highlights from their journey, this video is a story about love, perseverance, and the undeniable presence of a higher power.
Please take a few moments to watch. I know I speak for myself, my family, and the Ice Hockey â€˜Dores club when I say that the courage of my mother and other victims of this horrible disease is an inspiration for us all (as my mom always says) to stop looking for reasons why not to do things, but rather for reasons to simply start doing. Our club is proud to contribute to awareness of this battle in some small part and sends our very best wishes and heartfelt prayers to everyone struggling with the disease.
To donate to the Avon Foundation for Women, please visit the organization’s site today by clicking here or visiting www.avonwalk.org.