It was evident from the moment these women met, that they had a connection. Being members of the same Club…the club with a capital (though sometimes whispered) “C”…each knew what the other had been through.
Moments after meeting, they were proudly escorted onto the ice by their grandsons…members of the Halifax West Warriors Hockey Team.
Saturday night was first Pink in the Rink for the Halifax West and Citadel Hockey Teams…an idea that came together by the parents and had both sides battling for the puck while absolutely everyone came out winning.
Rose Comeau is a 16 year breast cancer survivor. Her grandson, Mitch, along with his older brother, Josh, escorted their grandmother to the puck drop. Being young boys when their grandmother had battled her illness, neither really knew the impact it had on their family at the time.
However, two years ago, the Comeau boys lost a family friend to breast cancer and while stepping on the ice with his Nana, Mitchell Comeau reflected on the loss.
“I am proud to be part of a team that shows support in doing things like Pink in the Rink. My friend’s mother passed away from breast cancer so I am thankful that Nana is a survivor,” said Comeau. “I felt proud and lucky to have our Nana there, to show our support of her and what she had to go through having breast cancer. It was special to have her there to drop the puck. She is a strong lady!”
For Ryan Maunder, his Grandma, Jean, is a 40 year survivor. “I felt proud to have my nan at the event,” said the 17 year old, “It was an awesome experience.”
Pink in the Rink allowed the three boys and all of the members of the West and Citadel teams to take a moment to reflect…surrounded by family and friends in a stadium decked out in pink ribbons and balloons…where cupcakes were the hit of the night and funds were raised to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
“It was fun being part of a team supporting a good cause,” said Josh Comeau. “It was nice to see everyone come together and make the rink look good! I was surprised with the number of people who showed up to support our team and the event!”
In fact, the game drew in quite a large crowd of students and family members…a sure sign of the success of the inaugural event that, as it drew to a close, had both the Halifax West Warriors and Citadel Phoenix coaches choosing to make it an annual event between both teams.
HUGE SHOUTOUT to the parents for starting a new tradition!
As for me, it was another fabulous Saturday night spent at the rink as a proud hockey mom. I had chills as the boys stepped onto the ice with their grandmas and ironically, was sitting next to a friend who’s been battling breast cancer this past few years. I cracked a joke about escorting her onto the ice and she threw me a little punch…but what I really meant to say was “I’m here for you, I support you, and I love you”…though sitting in that rink, I’m pretty sure she knew.
Just as Jean and Rose knew.
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