GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Thunder will hold their annual Pink in the Rink night Saturday, January 13th, against the visiting Reading Royals.  Pink is traditionally associated with breast cancer awareness, though all money raised will go to Glens Falls Hospital’s C.R. Wood Cancer Center, which deals with all types of cancer.  The Pink in the Rink game is a meaningful night for many, including the players.  I recently had a chance to chat with Thunder defenseman Conor Riley about how cancer has affected his family and the importance of early detection and raising awareness.

When Riley was a young child, he lost an aunt to lung cancer.  Because he was so young, he doesn’t remember much about her struggle, but does remember how hard it was on the son she left behind.  Fortunately, he had family willing to take him in and help him cope with the loss of his mother.

Just last year, Riley again found himself with a family member fighting cancer, this time his sister’s fiancé with Hodgkin lymphoma, an uncommon form of cancer involving the Reed-Sternberg cells (  Riley said they knew something was wrong when the normally healthy 28-year-old began feeling weak and tired all the time, and a doctor visit led to testing that found the lymphoma.  After months of treatments, the family received good news just in time for the new year – a clean bill of health for their loved one.  Early detection was key in the recovery process.

Last year’s Pink in the Rink jersey auction raised just over $11,000 for the cancer center, and Riley would like to see even more raised this year.  He stressed the importance of awareness, and events like these help tremendously.  In a time when almost every one of us has been affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly, we all need to know the warning signs and if possible, methods of prevention.  The money raised will help in that effort.

Thunder fans who wish to donate to the C.R. Wood Cancer Center can do so by purchasing one of the specialty jerseys during the post-game auction, or at the table set up in the lobby during the game.

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