Dinos make cuts to support teammate’s battle against cancer

Cancer is a disease that always seems to strike somewhere else, at least until it hits close to home. The revelation that 20-year-old Dinos women’s hockey forward Sinead Tracey was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last spring has shocked teammates and caused the wider Dinos community to rally around her.

“Some of her closer friends really took it hard and couldn’t get over the fact that it happened to someone like us, someone so close to us,” said longtime friend and teammate Shannon Davidson. “She was in better spirits than most of us.”

It would be difficult not to recognize Tracey as an overcomer of adversity. Tracey broke her collarbone in the first practice last season only to bounce back sooner than any doctors predicted. After playing for only two weeks and racking up several points, she broke her collarbone again. Despite being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and tearing her ACL towards the end of the season, Davidson said Tracey remained “the voice of reason” and “the heart of the team.”

“She just came through it,” said Davidson. “We decided that we wanted to do something as a team to show her that we were behind her all the way.”

When Davidson found out that Tracey was diagnosed, she contacted the Cancer Society, who explained Tracey’s options and how to raise funds for cancer research.

“After that it was all really, really simple,” said Davidson. “U of C got on board right away, they did a lot for us as well.”

As a part of this year’s kickoff pre-game festivities, the women’s hockey team held a “making cuts” fundraiser in an effort support Tracey through her struggle.

Three hair dressers from Marvel College donated their time to cut hair in support of the effort.

In addition to the money raised and heartwarming show of support from her teammates, five ponytails were donated to make wigs for cancer patients. The team also received donations of NHL memorabilia which were sold in a silent auction. One quarter of all the proceeds went directly to the Cancer Society.

The generosity didn’t stop there though. According to Davidson, they also had a sponsor from Molson donate almost 300 beer, which were consumed at an after party in exchange for donations to the cause.

“Everyone’s rallied around her pretty hard. Our whole Dino athletic community has done the same thing. When one of your teammates is down and out you have to work even harder and be stronger,” said Davidson, who noted that other sports teams she’s never met before came to show their support.

Altogether, the fundraiser generated about $3,300 towards finding a cure.

Though the event is over, donations are still open online at convio.cancer.ca/goto/dinos.hockey.

“It’s a big success story in the end,” said Davidson. “She’s going to be back before people are going to expect her back.”

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