Blacks Harbour – On Friday Feb. 23, from 7 to 9 p.m., the ice of the Patrick Connors Recreational Complex will see a game hockey fans won’t want to miss.
Lake Utopia Paper is putting a team on the ice, dubbed the Lake Utopia Monsters, to square off against the Irving Tissue Gulls, of Irving Tissue in Saint John – all for a good cause.
The game is a fundraiser for Zackary Shaw, a 10-year old St. George resident who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia for the third time on Jan. 4. In October of 2016, Shaw received a bone marrow transplant at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
A Facebook page for the event explains the goal is to get Shaw healthy enough to receive a recently Canadian FDA approved therapy treatment called CAR-T (also called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy).
CAR-T is a type of treatment in which a patient’s T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in a lab so they will attack cancer cells. The T cells are taken from a patient’s blood.
A large number of the CAR-T cells are grown in the lab, and given to the patient by infusion. Shaw will undergo this treatment in Toronto. He is currently in Halifax with his parents, because he has to remain close to the hospital.
Lake Utopia Paper employee Andrew Clark is organizing the hockey game in support of Shaw.
He said the event was created as a way to show support to Shaw and his family, and said he went to high school with Shaw’s mother, Courtney.
“(Courtney) posts on Facebook about how he’s doing, and what’s going on, and you see it; I know they have to keep him in Halifax, away from home, and away from their other kids, and we really wanted to do something, for him.”
A 50/50 will be available at the game, as well as a silent auction. Entrance is by donation.
Clark said local businesses have made donations to the silent auction, but said he is still accepting donations.
Donations can be made by contacting Clark at 321-9112, or contacting Cara Hatt at the Village of Blacks Harbour at 456- 4870.
Clark said he hoped to see a great turn out of the event for Shaw. “We’re trying to get as many people through the door as we can.”