Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Hockey Player's Fight

At this time of year we read and hear about the fight that hockey players have in them. Blocking shots, enduring overtimes that wear on the body and spirit, taking and delivering hits. The will of the hockey player makes his class of athlete among the most deserving of respect by fans and athletic peers alike.

But even the fight to succeed and advance in the Stanley Cup tournament at this time of year pales when compared to a fight another hockey player is engaged in. You see, Gary Lukasiewicz is in a bigger fight – the fight for his life.

Gary Lukasiewicz is an 18-year old senior at Riverdale High School in Taylor, PA, not too far from where we grew up. He is a goalie on his high school’s hockey team and is anticipating enrolling at Villanova University this fall. But for the moment, he confronts a life threatening illness for the second time.

Before his junior year at Riverside, he was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Gary beat it back once, but the cancer returned once more. Looking for a way to show support for their friend and classmate, some members of the Riverside community decided to show their support through social media.

As Gary was fighting in a hospice to beat back his illness once more – just one week before his prom and just a month before graduation -- #keepfightinggary was becoming a hotbed of Twitter activity since its original posting earlier this week. His classmates are engaged in what certainly looks like a non-stop effort to make his battle known as a trending topic on Twitter.

Meanwhile, news came – via Twitter, of course – that Gary was going home today where his care will continue. Hopefully, to beat this once, twice, and for all.


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