The Washington Capitals will host a Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Game on Saturday versus the Colorado Avalanche. One of the highlights of the evening will include the CapsFightCancer Starting Lineup, which will feature six children who are currently battling cancer or who are in remission and will be announced as members of the team’s starting lineup.
Each participant will be matched with the Capitals’ starting six players and introduced individually with their headshot on the jumbotron in honor of their fight against cancer. The CapsFightCancer Starting Lineup participants include:
Dylan Akers, 7
Dylan Akers was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January 2017 at the age of two. He was diagnosed as very high risk for relapse, which resulted in 3 and a half years of intense treatment. Dylan’s cancer treatment concluded in May 2020. He’s now enjoying life and is proud to say he’s a cancer survivor. Dylan’s interests are playing with his twin brother, Tyler, collecting Pokémon cards, soccer, video games, and watching sports with his family.
Colton Alfaro, 16
Colton Alfaro was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2016 and completed his treatment last year. He is a setter for his club volleyball team and is a big fan of the U.S. Men’s National volleyball team. He comes from a very close military family and loves spending time with his two brothers. This year, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic granted his wish to go to Hawaii, where he swam with dolphins, zip-lined through Oahu, and enjoyed exploring and making memories with his family.
Kolton Chaney, 9
Kolton Chaney was diagnosed with t-cell leukemia in January 2018 and completed 3 years of chemotherapy. Chaney is fully cured and rang the victory bell in May 2021. He enjoys playing soccer and watching hockey, football, and soccer. While going through treatment, Chaney was inspired by watching his favorite Capitals player, Tom Wilson.
Katie Gardiner, 17
Katie Gardiner was diagnosed at 22 months old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She underwent three and a half years of chemotherapy, with several years post-treatment in therapy managing long-term side effects. Gardiner is an avid volleyball player, playing with MVSA Volleyball Club as well as a flute player in the Symphonic Band at her high school. She hopes to become an elementary special education teacher to help children like herself who have challenges and show them that anything is possible.
Jayden Robinson, 10
Jayden Robinson was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on July 3. Prior to being diagnosed, he was living with his family in Korea. Jayden is described as a strong and resilient child. He loves to play video games and sports including basketball and football. His favorite subject in school is Math.
Makayla Russell, 8
Makayla Russell was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. She has cancer in her left arm, lymph nodes, and her bone marrow. She is currently going through chemotherapy in Roanoke. She is described as an energetic, funny, loveable 8-year-old who loves baking, swimming and playing hockey. She has two older brothers, Wyatt and Owen.
Earlier this month, the Capitals hosted a Hockey Fights Cancer skate with children and families from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Mid-Atlantic Region, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. Players were greeted in the locker room by the children who are currently battling cancer or in remission.
This is all part of the NHL’s month-long “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative, which educates the hockey community about cancer through Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month and raises awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.
As mentioned, Saturday’s game will be the team’s Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Game. Fans will be encouraged to show their support for those fighting cancer by submitting the names of loved ones who have experienced the disease on social media. The submissions will become part of the Capitals’ in-game experience during Hockey Fights Cancer Night.
Players will wear Hockey Fights Cancer warmup jerseys, while coaches and broadcast personalities will wear Hockey Fights Cancer ties. Select players will use sticks wrapped in lavender tape during warmups. In addition, all fans will receive a lavender “I Fight For” rally towel.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation will be hosting an auction featuring signed Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys worn during warmups on November 19 and signed, limited-edition Hockey Fights Cancer pucks. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Mid-Atlantic Region, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and MSE Foundation. Fans interested in bidding will need to download the Handbid app on their iPhone and Android devices or visit WashCaps.com/HFCAuction online beginning at noon on November 19.
Fans can also visit WashingtonCaps.com/CapsFightCancer to make a donation to the cause throughout the month. Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise will be available for purchase on November 19 at the Team Store at Capital One Arena.
We’re all in this together for #HockeyFightsCancer! 💜
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 9, 2022
By Della Young