As a young hockey player growing up in New Rochelle, New York, I rooted for the New York Rangers. I spent many a night imagining myself pulling on the Rangers' blue sweater and stepping onto the ice at Madison Square Garden. This summer, I was able to fulfill that life-long dream and signed a contract to play for my hometown team.
Every child has dreams, whether it's to become a professional athlete, a teacher, a rock star, a Police Officer, whatever. You know what no child dreams of becoming? A kancer patient. And yet it happens over and over. And it's incredibly unfair.
This is my 8th season as a professional hockey player and during that time, I've met many sick kids who have come to our games and practices or we've visited in the hospital, and the ones that have always stuck with me are the ones with kancer. Instead of focusing on their schoolwork or team practices, they're worrying about their next treatments. The ironic thing is that we're supposed to be the ones lifting their spirits when we meet, and yet I always find myself walking away amazed at how they always seem to have a smile on their faces, despite being afflicted with this horrible disease.
I've often thought of using the platform that playing in the NHL affords us to help better the lives of others, which is why I'm thrilled to partner with the Jam Kancer In The Kan Foundation and stage the first annual Kevin Shattenkirk Kancer Jam. On Saturday afternoon, February 24th at the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Westchester, our fans are going to have an incredible opportunity to compete with and against my teammates and I in a Kan Jam tournament. Each fundraising team that enters will be paired with one of my teammates or another Ranger celebrity, and compete against the rest of our team. The leading fundraisers will be able to earn cool prizes like signed memorabilia, game tickets and the ability to select which of my teammates they want as a partner- how cool is that? If you are our leading fundraiser, you get to draft which of my teammates you want as your partner. Best of all, we'll be working together to raise a great deal of money for kids battling kancer.
Stay tuned here or at www.jamkancerinthekan.com for more details for how you can join us at this very exclusive and unique event.