The rink in Lumsden was packed to the brim with people who were there to take in some hockey, but also to support a little boy diagnosed with cancer.
At the end of November 6-year-old Joel Bachman started getting headaches. After a few visits to the E.R., his father, Aaron, said they found out Joel had a brain tumour.
The tumour was taken out soon after, and Joel just began what will be months of cancer treatments.
Monday night, the Lumsden Bethune Minor Hockey Association asked people to “pack the house” for Joel. The gate admission, as well as the 50/50 is being donated to the Bachman family to help with expenses during Joel’s illness.
Aaron was taken aback by the support, especially because this was only Joel’s first year playing hockey, so they’re not familiar with many people in the league.
“So many of them we don’t know and the support that they showed us was just, it was absolutely incredible.”
A little over $10,000 was raised at the rink, and a local foundation called Pablopen, donated another $10,000.
Aaron said he was shocked by the money.
“How much money was raised for us, the support was just unbelievable, and we just want to thank everybody who was involved with that.”
Monday was Joel’s first cancer treatment, so he wasn’t feeling well enough to go to the game, but Aaron said he loved it. The family used video chat to call someone at the rink for part of the game.
“He was so happy to see that many people there last night. He was a little upset, he wanted to be there, of course, but he’s a tough kid, and he did awesome.”
Aaron expressed his thanks to everyone involved with the event, especially the hockey association, and Pablopen.
Joel is a fan of John Cena, the wrestler, and so his motto is “never give up.” Some friends made up stickers that read “never give up #5” and now all of the kids playing in the Lumsden/Bethune hockey association are wearing them on their helmets; players from surrounding areas are wearing them as well.
Aaron said Joel is doing well now, and they’re taking things one day at a time.
“We’re going to get him through this, and get him back on the ice,” said Aaron.