A lot of Mallards fans are probably already familiar with Emily’s Fight, but I don’t think this story can be told enough. Emily is in our son’s 4th grade class and has recurring brain cancer. Her Mom, Chrissy, often has to drive her 100 miles each way to Peoria for chemotherapy. Emily often misses school the next day because she’s too ill to attend. Some members of the booster club heard my wife and I talking about the situation earlier this season. At one booster club meeting we were planning the annual trivia night fundraiser. Someone suggested that we could use trivia night to raise funds for Emily’s travel and medical expenses. The booster club went to work on planning that event.
Mallards’ equipment manager Drew Kitts heard about the planned event through word of mouth. He started thinking about what he and the Mallards could do. After some planning, he invited Emily and her family to a game. He gave them a locker room tour where they got to meet the players. He also got Emily her own jersey with her name on the back, autographed by the team. They got to watch warmups from the bench and had tickets in the first row behind the bench. They were hooked! They have been to many games since then, usually sitting behind the Mallards bench.
Trivia Night came. The Mallards players were there and they spread out and one or two of them played on each trivia team. As planned, the booster club made a donation to Emily’s Fight from the trivia night proceeds. Then something cool happened – the trivia teams that won cash prizes all donated their winnings to Emily’s Fight. The Ice Eagles youth hockey team had already gotten enough funds to cover their travel expenses, so they donated their portion of the 50/50 raffle from that night to Emily’s Fight as well.
The iWireless Center got Emily and her family a sterilized luxury suite so they could continue attending games when her white blood cell counts were too low to be in proximity of other people. Last week the Mallards started wearing a small sticker on their helmets in support of Emily’s Fight, too.
All of this stuff is nice, but it doesn’t feel like enough. I know I feel inspired seeing Emily at the Mallards games, cheering on the team. I think everyone involved wishes we could do more. Things have only gotten tougher. Emily has had to stop chemotherapy at times due to low white blood cell counts. On February 16, Chrissy’s sister (Emily’s aunt) died in a freak car accident on her way to work early that morning. It just made an extremely tough situation even tougher.
You can help Emily’s Fight by making a donation through Go Fund Me here to help with medical and travel expenses:
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