LOVELAND, Colo (KDVR) — The game of hockey is known for encouraging fights.
But Saturday night, nobody was dropping gloves inside the Budweiser Events Center.
Instead, a different opponent was being targeted: cancer.
The Colorado Eagles and UCHealth hosted their annual Eagles Fight Cancer Night, honoring cancer warriors in Colorado.
“My prognosis was not good,” said Brandi Aspinall. “And they said I would most likely not walk out of the hospital.”
Aspinall was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma at the age of just 17, but against all odds, beat the cancer. Saturday, she was one of more than a dozen warriors being honored at the game. Along with her husband, Mark, and daughters, Emma and Briah, she was given the honor of pressing the Xfinity button to start the game.
The annual event was a chance for patients past and present to forget about the tests and treatments, and enjoy a night of hockey.
On the ice, each player wore the name of a cancer patient on their helmet, while donning lavender jerseys.
Off the ice, fans were given the chance to bid on game-worn jerseys and autographed pucks, with the proceeds benefitting the UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation Oncology Patient Assistance Fund.
“This is something that’s really near and dear to the players’ hearts,” said Eagles President Ryan Bach.
Bach is a former Eagle’s goaltender and says this type of fight is much more enjoyable than the ones on the ice.
“We’ve seen a few in this building in the past,” he joked, “but nothing compared to what will be in this building tonight.”
They hope the funds can help other cancer warriors with their battles.
“If you focus on hope, and you focus on giving joy, and you focus on uplifting others and bringing everybody up with you, it’s amazing what miracles can happen in your life,” said Aspinall.