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Join the fight against cancer

Fans can support NHL campaign at Thursday game vs. Bolts

Wednesday, 14.10.2009 / 2:09 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Join the fight against cancer
Erin Phillips, wife of Senators defenceman Chris Phillips, and Evan Simms, a cancer patient at CHEO, share a smile while looking some photos during the team's practice Wednesday morning. Evan will be a special guest at Thursday's Senators-Tampa Bay Lighting game, which is also Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Scotiabank Place.
The joy in young Evan Simms' face was clearly evident as he snapped photos of some of his hockey heroes.

"Awesome," the 10-year-old cancer patient at CHEO said about taking in a Senators practice at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday morning. "It's nice."

Evan and six-year-old Jacob Randell of Aylmer, a cancer survivor, and their families were treated to a special morning at the rink by Erin Phillips and Teresa Donovan, the wives of two Sens players. Besides watching practice, they also got a peek inside the team's dressing room before they departed.

Thursday night, Evan and Jacob will attend the Senators' game against the Tampa Bay Lightning along with 17-year-old Ashley Backstrom, also a cancer survivor, and her family.

The occasion is the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night, which is held each season to promote and raise funds for the National Hockey League-wide campaign. Senators wives and girlfriends will be selling autographed Hockey Fights Cancer hats ($35) and ties ($75), along with Reflections on a Hockey Season photo books ($50) at the Gate 1 and 2 entrances of Scotiabank Place, with all proceeds from the sale going to support Hockey Fights Cancer.

"Any chance you have that you can make a difference and raise awareness (is good)," said Phillips. "Recently, there have been ads saying that every three minutes, a Canadian has been diagnosed with cancer. You never know who that's going to be. Everybody seems to be affected one way, whether it's yourself or someone dear to you."

Added Donovan: "It's a small thing we're doing to help out. I think everybody in their lives has been affected somehow by someone with cancer. It's a very important cause for all of us to be behind."

"It's a small thing we're doing to help out. I think everybody in their lives has been affected somehow by someone with cancer. It's a very important cause for all of us to be behind." - Teresa Donovan
Seeing the youngsters in front of them – one whose cancer is in remission, the other in the middle of the fight – merely adds emphasis to that thought. But Wednesday morning was a time for smiles and hockey.

"This is amazing. I love it," said Jason Randell, whose son spent several months last winter undergoing treatment at CHEO for a brain tumour.

Jacob, who received visits from Senators players Brian Lee, Brendan Bell, Jarkko Ruutu and Mike Fisher during his hospital stay, doesn't have a favourite Senators player, his dad said.

"He likes a bunch of them," said Jason. "He liked it when Mike Fisher came (with his girlfriend, Carrie Underwood, in March). He enjoyed that visit."

Evan, meanwhile, has a soft spot for Chris Neil and Cody Bass, who paid him a visit at Roger's House in February, the latter doing so while on crutches. He proudly showed off the autographs he got from them on his Sens jersey and hat.

"(Neil) asked me how it was going and told me how brave I was," said Evan. "All of that."

To learn more about the NHL's Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, click here.




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06