New Jersey Devils: Hockey Fights Cancer Night Hits Home

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 23: The Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings participate in a Hockey Fights Cancer moment of silence prior to the game at Capital One Arena on November 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 23: The Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings participate in a Hockey Fights Cancer moment of silence prior to the game at Capital One Arena on November 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils hosted their annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night Tuesday evening against the Buffalo Sabres. Hockey Fights Cancer is the National Hockey Leagues charitable initiative that spreads awareness and raises money towards cancer research. Throughout the course of the evening, teams acknowledge those who have been inflicted with cancer and survivors of the disease. We have seen survivors sing the National Anthem, drop the ceremonial puck, and hear their stories of perseverance. Devils fans have witnessed just how special Hockey Fights Cancer is when beloved former Devil Brian Boyle scored a goal against the Vancouver Canucks on the special night three years ago. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2017 and has since been in remission.

We all have our own stories about how cancer has impacted our lives. It could be our own experience or a loved one. For a colleague and friend of mine, it all hit too close to home. My friend’s son, Franco, was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Franco is an 11-year-old who plays left-wing for the Secaucus Patriots Organization. Hockey is in his blood as his father, Frankie, played at Wagner College and now coaches Franco in Secaucus. Franco’s favorite team is the Washington Capitals, and his favorite players on the Capitals are Alexander Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie. When he is not watching the Capitals, he enjoys watching his favorite Devil P.K. Subban play.

Franco has received an overwhelming amount of support in the hockey community. He has received video messages of encouragement from Oshie, Ovechkin, Ken Daneyko, Adam Graves, Anders Lee, and so many more. Since his battle began, friends and family have termed him Franco Strong!

Franco was amongst those who were acknowledged during the Devils’ Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Franco was introduced by Devils PA announcer Kevin Clark to the attending crowd. He was also named Honorary Captain of the night. The Devils honored him by wearing Franco Strong 24 decals on their helmets. He will be invited to a future Devils game for the ceremonial puck drop and will be given the full VIP treatment.

The Devils continue to do a remarkable job honoring those who are in the fight for their lives. Their marketing and social media team were on point by commemorating Franco along with so many other courageous people on social media throughout the day. The family of Franco would like to thank Devils’ Senior Manager Kevin Fox for his support in making this evening possible for Franco.

There was a game last night at the Prudential Center. However, in the grand scheme of things, the outcome of the game doesn’t really matter. On Hockey Fights Cancer Night, hockey fans got to celebrate the lives of so many brave people. Devils fans, along with the entire hockey community, are Franco Strong.

A go fund me page has been created for Franco, If you would like to make a donation for Franco Strong you could visit here.